A website went live Wednesday that maps pollution in Baltimore’s harbors and streams in real time.
Baltimore Water Harbor Alert, a program of the hydro-focused nonprofit Blue Water Baltimore and the Healthy Harbor Initiative, takes data from 34 testing stations and displays it on a map. Sites include the harbor, tidal Patapsco, Gwynns Falls and Jones Falls.
The website also offers water quality data, offering measurements of pollutants like fecal bacteria, nitrogen and phosphorous. Another, called phycoerythrin, is described as a “blue-green pigment found in some phytoplankton.” The blue-green color acts as an indicator of cyanobacteria.
“Phycoerythrin is important for determining whether Cyanobacteria are present at ecologically healthy levels,” the site states. “Cyanobacteria will rapidly reproduce, resulting in blooms comprised of potentially-harmful species that secrete toxins that under some circumstances may stress or kill fish and other aquatic animals. Less often, these toxins may also pose a risk to humans.”-30-
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