As people enjoyed a long holiday weekend on the water and trails in the Adirondacks, the unofficial start to summer, another season opened for the year: the dreaded harmful algal blooms (HABs).
The Department of Environmental Conservation last week announced the beginning of the reporting season for harmful algal blooms in waters across the state and the Adirondacks. The agency’s map keeps track of HABs reported in the past two weeks as well as the entire season and is the best real-time view of the spread of the potentially-toxic algal blooms across the state.
The first HABs of the season are concentrated near New York City and on Long Island, including one at a lake in Central Park. But HABs have started to proliferate across the Adirondacks in recent years, or at least reporting of HABs, raising concerns among lake managers, residents and scientists. The DEC has asked the public to help monitor HABs and to report any sightings online.
The Lake George Association will be getting a boost for its efforts to monitor and study HABs. The association recently announced a $300,000 grant from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. The grant in part will support expanding research partnerships on Lake George, Chautauqua Lake and Skaneateles Lake to better understand the causes of HABs, why some become toxic and the best ways to prevent them.
I hope you enjoyed the holiday weekend and had a chance to spend time outside. My wife and I hiked Hadley Mountain on Sunday. It’s a steep and rocky climb but provides a great vantage point on the southern Adirondacks from the summit.
We also got to witness first hand why taking your dog up a fire tower is a bad idea. As a pair of guys went up the tower steps with a large lab mix, my wife said, “That dog is not going to want to come back down.” She was right and about 15 minutes later, they were still trying to coax the dog back to the ground, with just the last few steps to go. Pro tip: your dog does not want to go up the fire tower with you.
- The latest in the weird saga at Tioga Point Campground is good news. It’s back open after all.
- The Adirondack Watershed Institute recently achieved new state lab certification, which will enable more grant-funded research at the Paul Smiths lab.
- Lots of comments on this story about black flies. Share your tales of woe.
Editor’s note: This first appeared in Zach’s weekly “Water Line” newsletter. Click here to sign up.
Photo: The DEC harmful algal blooms map shows the location of recent confirmed HABs across the state. There were none confirmed in the Adirondacks as of last week but some have started in downstate waters.