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Birch Bay algae blooms focus of July 30 talk

People can learn about the algae blooms that blanket Birch Bay each summer, causing concern among residents and visitors, during a presentation Thursday, July 30, at Birch Bay Bible Community Church.

The free event runs 7 to 8 p.m. at 4460 Bay Road.

Robin Kodner, assistant professor at Western Washington University, will discuss what algae are common in area marine waters, typical seasonal algae cycles, and the history of harmful blooms in this region.

People also will learn how human activities affect such blooms.

A green layer of algae stretches far out into the tide flats and piles up on beaches, where it contributes to unpleasant odors and bacteria growth, organizers said.

Such blooms are common and natural in coastal marine waters, but can be harmful when large and persistent, as is the case with marine biotoxins building up in shellfish.

Birch Bay Watershed and Aquatic Resources Management District, Whatcom Marine Resources Committee, and the Whatcom Watersheds Information Network are the event sponsors.

Learn more by going to bbwarm.whatcomcounty.org or calling Ingrid Enschede, Whatcom County Public Works, at 360-715-7450, ext. 50787.

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