How the Algal Bloom Spreading in SF Bay Affects Water Sports

Water sports groups that use San Francisco Bay for recreational lessons said they saw a spike in cancellations last month, possibly as a result of the spread of harmful algal blooms in the region.

Although rowing and similar water sports do not require people to intentionally enter the water, participants often get splashed or may accidentally fall. Aquatic groups are trying to stay up to date on the latest bloom news and tell customers that this particular algae is not known to be harmful to humans.

Andrew O’Brien, president of the Lake Merritt Rowing Club, told The Chronicle that he has received emails over the past few weeks from several concerned members asking if it is safe enough to row in the lake. Other people are waiting for the bloom to end to return to the waters, he said.

The water in Lake Merritt has always been “questionable,” he said, but the bloom has made it worse.

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