The Charles River Watershed Association is warning people to stay out of the water in the Lakes District portion of the river in Newton, Waltham and Weston, due to a bloom of blue-green algae. The group says this is the first time that's ever been spotted in that part of the river:
Blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, are aquatic bacteria that can produce toxins which are harmful to humans, dogs and other mammals. If you see water that looks bright green or contains bright green strands avoid contact with the water as much as possible and wash contacted areas after exposure. Common reactions to the toxins include rashes, eye irritation, and possible gastrointestinal distress.