Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)


Harmful Algal Blooms, or HABs, are an increasing concern in freshwaters around the world, and of course in New York State.   Certain types of blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, produce toxins that can harm other organisms, including humans.  Not all algae is blue green, and not all of the blue green species that are capable of producing toxins do so all the time.  Scientists are trying to determine what makes these organisms "turn on" and "turn off" the production of toxins.  


What are HABS?

 U.S. EPA Harmful Algal Bloom Web Page

What are the effects of HABS?



What causes HABS?

 NYS DEC Harmful Algal Bloom Web Page

When in Doubt, Stay Out!
http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/77118.html The answers to all of the above questions can be found on the EPA and DEC web sites.

NYS Harmful Algal Bloom Notification

NYSFOLA is working closely with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Department of Health, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Upstate Freshwater Institute, and lake associations around the state to identify, sample, and analyze algal bloom samples. 

 Much of this work is completed by volunteers participating in the Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP), but the state is also accepting reports from lakes not in the program.  

 Where Are Blooms Occuring in NY?

 The Harmful Algal Bloom notification page is updated every Friday from approximately mid-June through mid-October.   CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE NY HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM NOTIFICATION PAGE

 NYS DEC Algae Photo Gallery


 NYS DOH Information Sheet About HABS


Scientific research and legislative solutions have led to numerous panels, and committees.  The following overview was presented to Congress:


US EPA has recently produced a YouTube Video to remind people to keep their pets out of blue-green algae blooms. For more information about protecting your pet, go to:  http://www2.epa.gov/nutrientpollution/protect-your-pooch.  The CDC has also published this flyer, that you can copy and share with your lake association members:


Lake News MAR 12th

Regional HAB Summits Set

Harmful Algal Bloom Summit Information 

The last two HAB Summit Public sessions are coming up.  If you missed the first two, you can watch them here:    The remaining two will also be live streamed and recorded.  

North Country HAB Summit

Tuesday, March 20 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Best Western Ticonderoga

260 Burgoyne Road

Ticonderoga, NY 12883

Western New York
Monday, March 26 from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
R. Thomas Flynn Campus Center, SUNY Monroe Community College, the Forum

1000 East Henrietta Road

Rochester, New York 14623 
Free parking in campus lots N and M

At these summits, nation-leading experts will work with local steering committees to begin development of tailored action plans to address the causes of algal blooms in the twelve priority waterbodies across the state. The action plans developed for each waterbody will be used to guide the development and implementation of priority projects, including new monitoring and treatment technologies. The action plans will be complete by the end of May and the lessons learned through these action plans will be applied to other impacted waterbodies.


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