Associated Press Published

Gov. Agency Monitoring Algae Blooms

Potomac River

A government agency is asking people in four states, including West Virginia and the District of Columbia to report algae blooms in rivers and streams that drain into the Potomac River.

The Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin said in a statement Thursday that it’s in the fifth year of studying the prevalence and ecological impact of algae and plants in freshwater systems.

Agency biologists hope to identify more hot spots within the basin to target for more localized research.

The agency says a newly developed smartphone application will enable volunteers to photograph and share pictures of the algae blooms.

The agency is composed of commissioners representing the federal government, the states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.