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NJ HAB Response Strategy Document

  Bureau of Freshwater & Biological Monitoring

Recreational Response Strategy
and Annual Summary Reports
Recreational Response Strategy

A formal Response Plan and communication strategy has been developed by multiple NJDEP,  NJDOH and NJDoA programs.

  • The 2021 Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Freshwater Recreational Response Strategy provides a unified statewide approach to responding to HABs in recreational waters and sources of drinking water and to protect the public from risk associated with these toxins.
  • Response Plan is a component of the Response Strategy and is designed to identify:
    • Entities responsible for response and actions, including various divisions within NJDEP as well as the NJDOH and the NJ Department of Agriculture (DoA)
    • Recreational risk thresholds for concentrations of pertinent toxins
    • Acceptable parameters and methods for assessing risk
    • Appropriate monitoring and analysis for toxins
    • Tiered Alert Levels
    • Background and technical information
    • Research needs
    • Outreach/ Education
    • Information on what to do if a person or their pet has been exposed to a CyanoHAB.
  • Freshwater lakes, rivers, and streams with potential public access, recreational use, licensed bathing beaches, and sources of drinking water.
  • Waterbodies may be owned by state, local, or private entities. Response will vary depending on ownership.
  • Direct drinking water concerns are addressed in the NJDEP Division of Water Supply and Geoscience (DWSG) Emergency HABs Response Plan.
    • Focuses on prevention and treatment of drinking water contamination, and applies to cyanobacterial HABs and toxins. DWSG will coordinate action per Plan.
    • For more information on drinking water, see the DWSG's website
Annual Summary Reports
A general fact sheet on Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms is available - click here.

A copy of our previous versions of the New Jersey Harmful Algal Bloom Response Plan & Comprehensive Strategy can be found here:

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Last Updated: May 25, 2021