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Toxic blue green algae project GWL Living organisms tell a lot about the quality of our surface waters. Water managers are coming to the conclusion that not only knowledge about the substances is important, but also the effects of these substances on the population of plants and animals. One of these important organisms, are the cyanobacteria, also known as blue green algae. Cyanobacteria are ancient, one of the oldest organisms alive, and they support photosynthesis, the air we breathe in. Despite that fact, blue green algae can become toxic over time. Toxic blue-green algae can cause skin irritation and bowel problems in swimmers. They mostly bloom during warm periods in nutrient-rich still waters. Therefore, monitoring and testing surface waters is essential. From March 2011 up till the end of August, I will work for the Gemeenschappelijk Waterschapslaboratorium, in short GWL, for the blue green algae project. GWL is a subsidiary of the water board Aa and Maas and De Dommel in Boxtel, the Netherlands. GWL supports customers with water-related environmental research and advice for monitoring and enforcement tasks. GWL is a solid team of 40 skilled and highly motivated people. Quality, responsiveness and knowledge are key. I will start with monitoring and testing samples of blue green algae in the laboratory, completing it with possible fieldwork for the hydrobiology department (including small invertebrates). For more information  www.gwlboxtel.nl  (only available in Dutch). Follow my activities, see blog!