It has become apparent that a primary reason for lack of attention and funding to address algae blooms at Lake Anna is simply that not enough people are reporting the green algae scum that they see to the Virginia Department of Health Harmful Algal Bloom Task Force. The recent DEQ report on "Harmful Algae Blooms in Virginia" actually calls out this low volume of reports, implying that it is a complaint-driven system. Let’s help them out by using the HAB Online Report Form!
Citizen reports called “Crowd-Sourced Reports” are displayed on the VDH HAB Map online, represented by blue dots on the map. There are only 14 blue dots so far on the 2021 HAB Map. But certainly more than 11 citizens have seen green scum and potential HAB at Lake Anna this year. Since 2017, there have been only 80 blue dots in total for citizen reports, an average of 16 reports per year.
Even if a "No-Swim Advisory" is in place near your property, you should continue making additional Crowd-Sourced Reports utilizing the same HAB Online Report Form to demonstrate the level of concern and demand for action. A weekly update is appropriate. LACA will be working with VDH to improve our methods of communicating current conditions on the lake through the use of simple mapping tools with images to document current conditions. We will post these methods once we finalize the process with VDH.
Please report current conditions - a report that documents a past condition (defined as greater than 48 hours in the past) will be rejected by VDH. Submit reports to VDH using the online reporting form within 24-48 hours of the algae scum condition.
Geographic coordinates are required when you submit a report. You can use Google Maps, or other mapping tools, to provide the latitude and longitude of the location.
Also - and this is very important - include a picture of the algae/scum condition with your report.