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EGLE: Green material on Lake Michigan is duckweed, not harmful to humans or pets

Green material covers sand at Laketown Beach
Posted at 10:07 AM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 10:07:14-04

LAKE MICHIGAN, Mich. — A supervisor at the surface water assessment section of the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy says the green material seen in parts of Lake Michigan is nothing to worry about.

Staff had visited Laketown Beach near Holland and two locations near Muskegon where algae blooms were reported, but found out the material is actually duckweed.

Duckweed is the smallest known flowering aquatic plant and not even an alga, according to Gary Kohlhepp with EGLE.

He says it’s a common, native plant widespread in lakes and wetlands, and is transported downstream via rivers – including to the Great Lakes after heavy storms.

Aside from the appearance and smell when decaying on beaches, Kohlhepp says duckweed is harmless to both people and pets.

READ MORE: Algae on Lake Michigan beach stumps state officials, prompts testing