VICTORIA -- The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change has developed a new website to offer more information about increasingly common algae blooms in B.C. waterways and help people understand why some of the organisms might pose a safety risk.

The site was developed after a bloom last summer turned the usually pristine waters at one end of Shuswap Lake into what the ministry describes as “pea soup” -- the first time such a bloom had occurred there.

Most algae growth, like the one that has now cleared in Shuswap Lake, are harmless -- but some algae has the potential to produce toxins that can be dangerous to people, pets or livestock.

The ministry says its Algae Watch website will increase understanding of where, when and why algae blooms happen and it will compile public contributions to build a data base about B.C.'s algae situation.