RIDOH and DEM Recommend Lifting Restrictions for Blue-Green Algae in Slack and Wenscott Reservoir

Published on Tuesday, November 14, 2023

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) recommend lifting the advisory restricting recreational activities at Slack Reservoir in Smithfield and Wenscott Reservoir in North Providence. The advisories were related to high levels of blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria.   

Recent consecutive surveys and sample analysis confirmed that blue-green algae is not present in detectable concentrations. These findings meet the advisory guidelines and support lifting the advisory.

Blue-green algae conditions can change quickly, and it is possible that blooms may affect Slack Reservoir and Wenscott Reservoir again or other waterbodies in Rhode Island. The public should avoid contact with any body of water that is bright green or has a dense, floating algal mat on the water's surface. Blue-green algae blooms may look like green paint or thick pea soup. Toxins may persist in the water after a blue-green algae bloom is no longer visible.  

To report suspected blue-green algae blooms, contact RIDEM's Office of Water Resources at 222-4700 or DEM.OWRCyano@dem.ri.gov