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Cornelius News

Lyngbya meeting tonight will address concerns about noxious algae

Lyngbya covering a cove

Jan. 30. By Dave Yochum. The lyngbya cyanobhacteria problem in Lake Norman is not going away, according to health and water quality officials. It has also invaded High Rock Lake and Lake Gaston, where officials are trying to manage if not eradicate the “filamentous cyanobacteria” that forms large nuisance growths on the lake bottom.

Thing is, it can detach and float to the surface as thick black mats rendering the water virtually unusable for water sports, as well as clogging water intake systems at McGuire Nuclear Station and Charlotte Water.


There will be an open meeting at The Peninsula Club Jan. 30 at 6 pm to discuss the issue as well as find resources to fund eradication.


Peninsula resident Bob Watson is organizing a fund drive to raise $20,000 as soon as possible, ahead of state efforts which require legislative approval.

Bob Watson

“We need to start dealing with the problems in March before it starts expanding,” Watson said.

NC Speaker Tim Moore and NC Rep. John Bradford passed a funding measure on the last day of the long session in 2023, but ran out of time to have it run in the Senate.

NC Sen. Vickie Sawyer said she will support funding. Lake Norman Marine Commission, Charlotte Water and Duke Energy are prepared to partner up as well.


Jeff Tarte

“It is a little nuanced, but It is not funding that we need. Aquatic weed control funding already exists from the state. Rather we need Lyngbya in LKN to qualify to be able to access existing state monies. In order to access state monies, a “weed” has to be on the State’s Aquatic Weed Control Program (AWCP) list managed by N.C. Dept of Environmental Quality. The legislation passed by Bradford and Moore places Lyngbya on the AWCP list making it eligible to use allocated state funds for controlling this specific weed. Now we need the Senate this spring to pass the same statute.”

—Jeff Tarte, former NC District 41 Senator and Mayor of Cornelius

The NCSU Aquatic Plant Management Program reports the Lyngbya increased by more than 100 percent in both 2022 and 2023.