International water ski festival canceled over blue-green algae concerns

MILWAUKEE -- An international water skiing event set to happen in Milwaukee Friday has been forced to cancel due to a dangerous level of blue-green algae.

The permit was yanked from the Malibu Open Festival, because of a blue-green algae threat at the lagoon in Veteran's Park.

Skiers who traveled here from around the globe are just learning two days from the event the ski show is not happening. Many are still flying in from Italy and Australia.

The Milwaukee Health Department tells TODAY'S TMJ4 the normal levels of blue-green algae in this lagoon is 4 micrograms per liter. By Monday evening the level had risen to 66.3.

Tony Drake who organizes the event says they had searched for alternative sites. He says there is no chance the tournament could go on elsewhere on such short notice. 

"At this point we're going to look at some alternative dates, maybe squeeze it in the Fall. We'll certainly be back next year," Drake said.

The naturally occurring blooms could be toxic for people water skiing. If exposed to blue-green algae, you could experience a skin rash, vomiting and/or diarrhea. 

 

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