Lake with algae

In this Aug. 3, 2014, file photo, an algae bloom covers Lake Erie near the City of Toledo water intake crib about 2.5 miles off the shore of Curtice, Ohio. A similar bloom has invaded Lake Hopatcong in New Jersey.

When you are little you sometimes want to hide under the bed at night so something won’t jump out and get you. As an adult I’ve been experiencing this feeling every night and now I am witnessing it firsthand.

I grew up vacationing on an island in the biggest lake in New Jersey, Lake Hopatcong. I married someone I grew up with on the island and our children grew up enjoying the magical summers there. Our first granddaughter was coming up this summer to carry on the tradition.

Instead, out of nowhere, we received a notice that the lake is not safe. We are not supposed to touch the water and pets that drink too much may die.

All public swimming areas are closed, water sports are suspended and if you fish, don’t eat the fish you catch. This is all because of warmer temperatures, increased rainfall and fertilizers, which feed the bacteria, running into the lake.

At beaches in our country we have increased shark and stingray populations and now flesh-eating bacteria.

Climate change is the bogeyman and we are all hiding under the bed.

Toni Lindahl


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