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Algae bloom prompts beach closure in Stow

In Boston, Jamaica Pond remained off-limits on Sunday due to a suspected cyanobacteria bloom.

An algae bloom prompted local officials to close Stow Town Beach — another popular cool-down destination now off-limits in Massachusetts thanks to potentially harmful blooms.

The Stow Recreation Department announced the closure in a statement on Sunday.

“We have noticed an algae bloom this morning and need to have the water tested before we can re-open the beach,” officials said. “Anyone that swims is doing so at their own risk.”

Small children and animals in particular should not go in the water. The beach is closed until further notice, according to the statement.

Throughout the summer, several beaches, lakes, and ponds have closed due to cyanobacteria blooms across Massachusetts, with advisories issued for nine places as of last month.

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Also known as blue-green algae, cyanobacteria can bloom when there is nutrient-rich water and can be toxic, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While not all blooms are toxic, there is no way to tell if a bloom is toxic just by looking at it.

The harmful blooms produce cyanotoxins which are powerful natural poisons that can make humans and dogs sick if ingested. Dogs and people who swim in waters with blooms present should rinse off immediately afterward. Dogs believed to have ingested the water should also be brought to a veterinarian or poison center.

In Boston, Jamaica Pond remained shut down on Sunday after officials initially closed it on July 30 due to a suspected cyanobacteria bloom.

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