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Black sludge along Lake Ontario

Updated: Wednesday, July 30 2014, 06:14 PM EDT

Greece, N.Y. - It's the second summer Cindy Resnick has lived along Edgemere Drive in the town of Greece.

"This is beautiful just to sit outside and listen to the water," said Resnick, who was out enjoying her beach Wednesday, something she couldn't do even a day before.

"It was a black tar like sludge that smelled like rotten eggs," she said. That sludge first washed up on her beach, along with garbage, seaweed and algae, last Thursday. "There was no rain, there was no wind, nothing, just big waves and brought up that black sludge so my question is where did it come from and is it dangerous."

More of the sludge washed up on shore this past Monday.

The Monroe County Department of Public Health tells us they only test public beaches. They told Resnick to go by the status of the nearby public beaches to know if it's okay to swim.
But she says that's not enough.

"I don't know what the answers are. I guess we just want some answers," she said.

We showed the pictures to an environmental scientist who tells us it looks like it could be something natural like algae that was decomposing somewhere else and was brought to shore by a change in weather.

The Lake Ontario Waterkeeper out of Toronto, Canada said while they don't know for sure they believe it is Cladophora algae. They explained the algae usually grows at the bottom of the lake and washes to shore when it dies. It also smells like rotten eggs. People are advised not to swim in area where there is a lot of dead algae because it can harbor bacteria.

Black sludge along Lake Ontario


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