Reminder: If you have microcystin data from freshwater lakes and reservoirs in Virginia, North Carolina, and/or Maryland or know of someone who may, please contact Jane Walker with the Virginia Water Resources Research Center at or (540) 231-4159 as soon as possible.

 The Virginia Water Resources Research Center at Virginia Tech is seeking microcystin data from freshwater lakes and reservoirs in Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland. Microcystin is a class of toxins produced by certain freshwater cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae.

Submitted datasets need to contain all of the following information:

  • Microcystin concentrations with any combination of concurrent chlorophyll-a (Chl-a), total nitrogen (TN), and/or total phosphorus (TP) concentrations
  • Sample site coordinates (lat. & long.) and sample depth
  • Sample date

We are also requesting other information associated with the dataset including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Methodologies used for analyses
  • Detection limits
  • Quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) flags
  • Waterbody characteristics: name, size (e.g., surface area), location, EPA Level III ecoregion (if known), etc.
  • Waterbody management: uses (e.g., public drinking water supply), treatments (e.g., addition of fertilizer, algaecide applications)
  • Other concurrently collected data (e.g., dissolved oxygen, temperature)

Purpose of this Request: The Virginia Water Resources Research Center (“Water Center”) is assisting the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in obtaining datasets containing microcystin concentrations from freshwater lakes and reservoirs in Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland. The requested datasets will be used by the Water Quality Academic Advisory Committee (AAC) to help determine if Virginia’s current nutrient criteria for lakes/reservoirs adequately protect the recreation use, as defined through microcystin concentrations.

About Virginia Department of Environmental Quality: Virginia DEQ is responsible for administering laws and regulations related to air quality, water quality, water supply, renewable energy and land protection in Virginia.  The agency manages the water quality of Virginia’s streams, lakes, reservoirs and tidal waters.  To learn more about DEQ, see its website at

About Virginia Water Resources Research Center: The Water Center offers resources and support to researchers, educators, and decision makers throughout the state of Virginia. The Water Center organizes and coordinates the AAC to serve as an independent advisory body to DEQ to review and evaluate the scientific merits of DEQ’s existing and evolving water quality assessment procedures. The Water Center resides within the College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech. To learn more about the Water Center, see its website at