A Great Big City

Harlem Meer in Central Park is Having a Bit of an Algae Problem

160820 082 Fifth Ave at 106th St - Central Park, Harlem Meer with a thick covering of algae
160820 082 Fifth Ave at 106th St - Central Park, Harlem Meer with a thick covering of algae via cultivar413 on Flickr
160820 082 Fifth Ave at 106th St - Central Park, Harlem Meer with a thick covering of algae 160820 084 Fifth Ave at 106th St - Central Park, Harlem Meer with a thick covering of algae 160820 083 Fifth Ave at 106th St - Central Park, Harlem Meer with advisory sign
[View all photos on one page]

Summer sunshine is like a delicious meal to algae that longs to overtake our picturesque water features. Such is the case in Harlem Meer this Summer, where the water has become coated with the sunlight-loving bacteria.

The algal outbreak has led the Parks Department to post warning signs against drinking or wading and fishing in the water, so postpone your refreshing dip in the Meer until further notice. Keep an eye on the Central Park website for status updates on the harmful algae bloom, or stop by the Northeast corner of the park to catch a glimpse of the green.

The New York Times from 2012 mentions an algae harvester that had previously been put to use to combat filamentous algae. If you see a conveyor belt raft scooping up the water, you'll know what it is.

The green goo lands Harlem Meer on the Department of Environmental Conservation's Harmful Algal Blooms page, along with The Lake in Central Park, Bowne Pond and Golden Pond in Queens, Indian Lake in the Bronx, and Prospect Park Lake.

Share this post: