Algae Bloom Photos

Toxic Algae Photos

Algae blooms occur when blue-green algae – which are actually microscopic organisms called cyanobacteria – feed on the chemicals in fertilizer and animal manure that have run off farm fields into water and mixed with sunlight and heat. In some cases, algae blooms are just unsightly and smelly. But in many other instances, they produce toxins that harm animal and human health, devastating aquatic ecosystems and hurting local economies.

 

This page shows some of the algae blooms that have appeared across the U.S. between 2015 and today. On the left is a photo of a water body under normal circumstances, and on the right is one or more photos of the water body when affected by an algae bloom. Not all of the algae blooms in the photos were toxic – it is impossible to know from photos alone – but some may have been.

 

EWG’s algae news story map contains far more stories about toxic algae blooms than there are images of algae here, because there simply aren’t images for all blooms.

 

To learn more about the health and environmental impacts of toxic algae blooms, see EWG’s Toxic Algae page.

 

Jump to state

California

Big Bear Lake

4/24/2019 - Sentinel 2

8/27/2019 - Sentinel 2

Black Butte Lake

4/25/2019 - Sentinel 2

5/30/2018 - Sentinel 2

Clear Lake

4/20/2017 - Sentinel 2

7/9/2017 - Sentinel 2

7/14/2018 - Sentinel 2

Diamond Valley Lake

4/26/2018 - Sentinel 2

6/10/2018 - Sentinel 2

Isabella Lake

3/30/2018 - Sentinel 2

6/13/2018 - Sentinel 2

7/8/2019 - Sentinel 2

Lake Elsinore

10/31/18 - Sentinel 2

1/9/18 - Sentinel 2

Lake Oroville

6/24/2016 - Sentinel 2

8/23/2016 - Sentinel 2

Lake San Antonio

3/28/2017 - Sentinel 2

6/19/2016 - Sentinel 2

New Hogan Lake

2/11/19 - Sentinel 2

3/31/19 - Sentinel 2

Salton Sea

4/11/18 - Sentinel 2

9/23/18 - Sentinel 2

San Luis Reservoir

12/29/16 - Landsat 8

8/26/17 - Sentinel 2

7/26/18 - Sentinel 2

Florida

Lake Okeechobee

3/22/18 - Sentinel 2

7/8/18 - Sentinel 2

5/21/19 - Sentinel 2

Idaho

Lake Cascade

8/17/19 - Sentinel 2

9/4/19 - Sentinel 2

Lake Lowell

2/6/18 - Sentinel 2

9/8/18 - Sentinel 2

Mormon Reservoir

5/4/17 - Sentinel 2

8/27/17- Sentinel 2

Kansas

Webster Reservoir

2/15/17 - Sentinel 2

8/14/17 - Sentinel 2

Louisiana

Lake Pontchartrain

11/4/17 - Sentinel 2

5/13/18 - Sentinel 2

6/2/19 - Sentinel 2

Minnesota

Big Stone Lake

5/13/17 - Sentinel 2

8/11/17 - Sentinel 2

Lake of the Woods

9/20/15 - Sentinel 2

10/22/15 - Sentinel 2

Montana

Canyon Ferry Reservoir

4/28/18 - Sentinel 2

8/9/18 - Sentinel 2

Nebraska

Harlan County Lake

12/14/2018 - Sentinel 2

7/17/2019 - Sentinel 2

New Mexico

Elephant Butte Reservoir

2/14/16 - Sentinel 2

4/21/17 - Sentinel 2

New York

Allegheny Reservoir

4/27/17 - Sentinel 2

9/24/17 - Sentinel 2

Cayuga Lake

3/25/18 - Sentinel 2

9/16/18 - Sentinel 2

Oneida Lake

4/21/18 - Sentinel 2

6/30/18 - Sentinel 2

North Carolina

Chowan River

5/1/2019 - Sentinel 2

8/4/2018 - Sentinel 2

Lake Mattamuskeet

5/24/18 - Sentinel 2

11/17/18 - Sentinel 2

North Dakota

Devils Lake

5/14/2019 - Sentinel 2

7/15/2018 - Sentinel 2

Ohio

Buckeye Lake

4/12/17 - Sentinel 2

10/2/17 - Sentinel 2

Grand Lake St. Marys

3/11/18 - Sentinel 2

8/23/18 - Sentinel 2

Lake Erie

3/16/18 - Sentinel 2

8/23/18 - Sentinel 2

7/14/19 - USGS Landsat8

Maumee Bay

2/4/17 - Sentinel 2

9/26/17 - Sentinel 2

Maumee River

11/8/15 - Sentinel 2

9/26/17 - Sentinel 2

Sandusky Bay

4/20/18 - Sentinel 2

8/23/18 - Sentinel 2

5/15/19 - Sentinel 2

Oregon

Odell Lake

1/13/18 - Sentinel 2

6/22/18 - Sentinel 2

Upper Klamath Lake

5/10/17 - Landsat 8

9/9/17 - Sentinel 2

7/22/18 - Sentinel 2

7/4/19 - Sentinel 2

Texas

Lake Arlington

12/1/16 - Sentinel 2

2/16/17 - Sentinel 2

Utah

Utah Lake

8/31/16 - Sentinel 2

8/21/17 - Sentinel 2

8/16/18 - Sentinel 2

7/22/19 - Sentinel 2

Vermont

Lake Carmi

11/14/16 - Sentinel 2

9/13/17 - Sentinel 2

Washington

Moses Lake

7/14/2019 - Sentinel 2

7/14/2019 - Sentinel 2

Wisconsin

Big Eau Pleine Reservoir

4/22/17 - Landsat 8

9/13/17 - Landsat 8

Castle Rock Lake

4/29/18 - Sentinel 2

9/11/18 - Sentinel 2

Lake Koshkonong

5/26/18 - Sentinel 2

6/10/18 - Sentinel 2

Lake Mendota

5/4/18 - Sentinel 2

9/11/18 - Sentinel 2

Lake Winnebago

9/23/17 - Sentinel 2

9/23/17 - Sentinel 2

8/12/18 - Sentinel 2

Petenwell Lake

6/8/16 - Sentinel 2

7/22/16 - Sentinel 2

9/6/18 - Sentinel 2

Wyoming

Boysen Reservoir

12/11/17 - Sentinel 2

9/10/18 - Sentinel 2

Pathfinder Reservoir

5/15/18 - Sentinel 2

9/7/18 - Sentinel 2