In the past couple of years, the alert relating to the Ross Island Lagoon has preceded a broader warning to the Willamette River and we wanted to first caution everyone who paddles in the Holgate Channel to avoid the lagoon (or the shallow and slow-moving water of the channel altogether) and to wash with fresh water as soon as you are able, particularly if you have sensitive skin.
DragonSports does not plan to cancel practices or the Portland Dragon Boat Festival if a bloom does occur in the broader Willamette River. Consulting a number of experts and online sources last year, we learned that unless you are ingesting significant quantities of water, there is little risk of harm. The Oregon Health Authority only cautions against swimming or certain activities where there is a risk of ingestion; paddling is not one of them. The biggest risk may be for small children and especially pets who may immerse themselves in and/or drink the water if left unsupervised.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.