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Oklahoma Bill Hopes To Ease Impact Of Algae Outbreak On Lake Businesses

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Many with lake businesses say last year they suffered like never before - with blue green algae to blame. Many with lake businesses say last year they suffered like never before - with blue green algae to blame.
Ann Davis with Paradise Cove Marina on Fort Gibson lake says their business was down by 50 percent. Part of it was the excessive heat, but mostly blue green algae kept people away. Ann Davis with Paradise Cove Marina on Fort Gibson lake says their business was down by 50 percent. Part of it was the excessive heat, but mostly blue green algae kept people away.
WAGONER COUNTY, Oklahoma -

State lawmakers are working on a measure they hope will ease worries about the water in Oklahoma lakes.

Many with lake businesses say last year they suffered like never before - with blue green algae to blame.

Warning signs went up and profits for lake business across the state went down.

"They would cancel their hotel reservations, cancel their boat rental reservations, cancel their fishing guide reservations," Ann Davis said.

Ann Davis with Paradise Cove Marina on Fort Gibson lake says their business was down by 50 percent. Part of it was the excessive heat, but mostly blue green algae kept people away.

08/31/2012 Related Story: Blue Green Algae May Hamper Yet Another Summer Holiday

With the backing of state tourism leaders, the state legislature is trying to lessen worries about the naturally occurring toxic blooms which can develop in stagnant, shallow and warm water.

"The legislation is to educate folks that our lakes are safe to get in and please come and enjoy them this summer," State Representative Wade Rousselot said.

Rousselot supports the measure, which addresses blue green algae on two fronts: first by better informing the public about it with a water quality web page, required information signs, and educational material for health workers.

The thinking is if people are accurately informed about the algae, they'll be less alarmed.

"There's just not enough knowledge regarding the blue green algae issue," Davis said.

Another part of the measure calls for weekly water testing, which could mean advisories are lifted sooner than last year.

"This will definitely speed things up, and I think reassurance is the word, and provide reassurance to the lake going public," Rousselot said.

Ann Davis at Paradise Cove likes the legislation and believes it will help ease worries about the water, making this summer much better for business.

The measure is still working its way through the legislature.

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