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DEC Trains Volunteers to Identify Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in Finger Lakes

  • 21 June 2017
  • scalera


Scientists from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will be conducting a training for volunteers from several Finger Lakes communities to help identify and sample for Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in the region.

DEC has one of the most comprehensive HAB surveillance, monitoring, reporting and outreach programs in the country, and volunteer spotters and samplers help bolster this effort. A pilot citizen shoreline surveillance program was launched on Owasco and Seneca Lakes in 2016. The program is being continued this year and will also include monitoring on Otisco and Honeoye lakes. DEC uses information collected in these programs to better understand the severity and duration of HABs and to inform management of these waterbodies.

HABs, also known as blue green algae blooms, have been detected in nearly 300 New York water bodies since 2012. People, pets and livestock should avoid contact with water that is discolored or has algal scums on the surface.