A new private-public coalition announced this week will monitor the presence of cyanobacteria in the Edgartown, Chilmark and Tisbury Great Ponds this summer, including through maps and a special-purpose website.

Announced by the Edgartown Great Pond Foundation, the coalition called MV CYANO is a collaboration between the foundation and the Island boards of health.

The alliance is the first cyanobacteria monitoring program on Martha’s Vineyard.

Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are naturally occurring phytoplankton. But excessive nutrient loads in the Great Ponds and hotter summers have fueled toxic blooms of cyanobacteria in the past two summers. The blooms can produce cyanotoxins, which can cause serious adverse health effects in exposed humans, pets and livestock.

Chilmark Pond was closed for a time two summers ago when a person became sickened after shellfishing in the pond. Sampling done in 11 ponds last summer found dangerous levels of toxins in many of them, alarming scientists and prompting calls for further study and monitoring. A website for information about cyanobacteria will track blooms in the ponds, and color-coded maps for each pond are now available online.

Financial support is being provided by the Chilmark Pond Foundation and the Great Pond Foundation.