"We realize there are lakes and ponds that are blooming; we just haven't gotten called about it," says Toal.
The most recent documented toxic bloom in this state happened in Lower Bolton Lake in August 2012. The Eastern Highlands Health District, which covers that portion of northeastern Connecticut, issued a public warning advising people to avoid contact with the lake's water and prevent pets from drinking or playing in the lake.
Robert Miller, health director for the district, says the public advisory was in effect for 7-8 weeks, and wasn't taken down until after the Labor Day weekend. He says the toxic bloom "just naturally waned and expired on its own," which experts say isn't unusual.
As far as can be determined, the Lower Bolton Lake bloom didn't make any person or animal sick, according to Miller. He says it was the first time he knows about that local and state health officials attempted to cooperate to create a "structured response" to a toxic bloom in Connecticut.
It was that outbreak that prompted Connecticut state officials to put out a detailed 14-page "guideline" for local officials and citizens on how to recognize and deal with toxic algae blooms. Miller says he believes those are "interim guidelines" and that state officials are hoping to create a better monitoring and response system down the line when they have more data.
According to the National Wildlife Federation report, the most serious triggers for these toxic outbreaks is the fertilizer being flushed into streams, rivers, lakes and ponds from farms and suburban lawns. All those excess nutrients create a perfect diet for hungry toxic algae.
All this pollution is being made worse by climate change, according to the report's authors. "Global warming and intensification of major storms and droughts play major roles in the spread of toxic blue-green algae blooms worldwide," said Hans Paerl, a professor of marine and environmental sciences at the University of North Carolina.
"The interesting thing I kind of discovered," Miller says about his first exposure to these hazardous blooms, "is that there's a lot we don't know about toxic algae... about how it exists, and the implications for health and recreation."
Lee agrees. He says that's a major reason why the state has finally begun an initial program to start monitoring some of these inland bodies of water.
"We want to have a better understanding about where we need to be concerned," says Lee.