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.

Resources: What are HABS?
U.S. EPA Harmful Algal Bloom Web PageWhat are the effects of HABS?
https://www.epa.gov/nutrientpollution/harmful-algal-bloomsWhat causes HABS?
NYS DEC Harmful Algal Bloom Web PageWhen in Doubt, Stay Out!
http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/77118.htmlThe 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 Occurring 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 HAB 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: