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"No matter how politely one says it, we owe our existence to the farts of blue-green algae."
This quote by Diane Ackerman, an American poet, essayist, and naturalist often called the “science storyteller”, reminds us that People are innately connected to nature including microorganisms like blue-green algae!
WHAT ARE BLUE-GREEN ALGAE (“CYANOBACTERIA”)?
🦠 Aquatic, photosynthetic, and the oldest known fossils (over 3.5 billion years).
💨 Shaped the course of evolution and ecological change because they generated the oxygen atmosphere that life as we know it depends on and contributed to the origin of plants.
⚡️Sparked the change from simple to complex life!
WHY DO BLUE-GREEN ALGAE MATTER?
🧫 Today, one of the biggest and most important groups of bacteria.
🌞 When sun emerges, large algae growths (“algal blooms”) appear in water systems and can produce potent toxins (“cyanotoxins”) that hurt humans, animals, aquatic ecosystems, and local economies.
❗️Algal blooms are expected to be more frequent and severe due to climate change and increased nutrient pollution.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
👀 Volunteer to monitor waterbodies for algal bloom.
🗣 Report suspected algal blooms to your government department of health or environment.
🤢 Help prevent nutrient pollution in your home, yard (like not using lawn fertilizers), community, and classroom.