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When cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) reproduce
quickly and bloom, there are physical signs. The blooms can look like blue or
green paint spilled into the water, a blue or green colored crust along the
shoreline, thick puffy blue or green foams on the surface of the water (scums),
or swirling colors beneath the surface of the water. Blooms can sometimes be
white, brown, or red in color. Cyanobacteria blooms can also have distinct
smells. They can smell grassy or septic, and in some cases the smell can cause
nausea. These cyanobacteria blooms can accumulate near the shoreline and can
move based on wind and wave action. Long strands of green algae, duckweed, and
filamentous macro-algae are sometimes confused with cyanobacteria blooms.
Please visit the gallery below to see some of the different forms cyanobacteria
blooms can take and some commonly confused plants that could look like a bloom.
Cyanobacteria Bloom - Globules