SWAN QUARTER, N.C. (WNCT) — Lake Mattamuskeet is the subject of possible research to return the waters to where they were before being impacted by blue-green algae.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which oversees the lake and its wildlife refuge, is holding a public comment session through Oct. 30 for the possible treatment of the state’s largest natural freshwater lake.

A statement about a draft environmental assessment of Lake Mattamuskeet says a proposal has been brought forward to treat the lake for cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae. Comments are due by October 30 and may be emailed to mattamuskeet@fws.gov or mailed to Mattamuskeet NWR, 85 Mattamuskeet Rd, Swan Quarter, NC 27885.

A statement on the Fish & Wildlife Service website states in part, “In 2022, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was approached by the University of North Carolina Institute of Marine Sciences and BlueGreen Water Technologies who had identified Lake Mattamuskeet as a potential study site for a trial treatment of cyanobacteria.

“After several discussions and field visits with the project team and state partners, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service produced a draft Environmental Assessment for the proposed cyanobacteria treatment on Lake Mattamuskeet.”

In the 39-page environmental assessment, it’s stated that under the proposal, the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences and BueGreen Water Technologies, located in Morehead City, would conduct tests to get the algae out of the water using a pesticide identified as “a sodium percarbonate-based algaecide, Lake Guard Oxy.” Limited tests would be conducted in controlled areas of about 600 acres of the lake to study the effects and determine if the treatment could help the entire body of water. Barriers would also be put into place to contain the test.

“The treatment would be extensively monitored prior to, during, and after treatment to determine its success in reducing cyanobacteria and to evaluate possible impacts to other resources,” officials said on page three of the proposal.