O’Brien Beach at Meech Lake Closed Due to Blue-Green Algae

Chelsea Quebec Local logo
by The Local
June 4, 2024
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Photo credits:
NCC (Gatineau Park)
O’Brien Beach at Meech Lake in Chelsea, Quebec, is a beloved spot nestled within the picturesque Gatineau Park. Known for its serene surroundings and inviting waters, it’s a favourite destination for locals and tourists alike. Unfortunately, this idyllic beach is currently closed to the public due to a bloom of cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae.

Understanding Blue-Green Algae

Cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, are microscopic organisms found in freshwater environments. While they are naturally occurring, certain conditions can cause these algae to multiply rapidly, forming blooms. These blooms can produce toxins that are harmful to humans and animals. At O’Brien Beach, the presence of blue-green algae has made the water unsafe for swimming and other recreational activities.

The Impact on Public Safety

For reasons of public safety, swimming is strictly prohibited at O’Brien Beach as long as the blue-green algae bloom persists. The water at the beach is currently green and cloudy, indicating the presence of these potentially harmful organisms. It’s crucial for visitors to avoid all contact with the water during this time to prevent any health risks.

Reporting Blue-Green Algae Sightings

If you happen to visit the area and notice blue-green algae, it’s important to report it to the authorities. You can contact the National Capital Commission (NCC) through various channels: via their website, by telephone at 613-239-5000 or 1-800-465-1867 (toll-free), or by email at info@ncc-ccn.ca. Prompt reporting helps ensure that the appropriate measures are taken to protect public health. https://ncc-ccn.gc.ca/client-services

Staying Informed and Safe

The closure of O’Brien Beach is a necessary precaution to ensure the safety of all visitors. The beach will remain closed until all public safety requirements have been met and the water is deemed safe for recreational use again. It’s important to stay informed about the status of the beach by checking updates from the NCC and adhering to any advisories.


While it’s disappointing that O’Brien Beach is currently closed, public health and safety must always come first. The beautiful scenery and tranquil environment of Meech Lake will still be there when it’s safe to return. Until then, enjoy other parts of Gatineau Park and stay safe!

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