Posts Tagged ‘HABs’

Sunday, November 20, 2022

The toxic side of HABs

HABs on mirror lake

The hazardous algal blooms (HABs) are back… and are they toxic.

State agencies (Environmental Conservation and Health) warn people to avoid all algae-like formations in lakes and ponds and caution that even cyanobacteria blooms without toxins can be harmful.

A handful of the dreaded HABs cropped up on lakes in late-October and early-November, a mark of warm, calm and sunny fall weather. Combined with a churn of nutrients within lakes, the sunny weather spurs rapid cyanobacteria growth, forming blooms on the water surface.

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Thursday, September 29, 2022

HABs plans

DEC scientist and section chief Lauren Townley presents an update on the state's HABs action plan at a Lake George Park Commission meeting in Bolton on Tuesday. Photo by Zachary Matson

Harmful algal blooms were first confirmed on Lake George in October 2020, suspected to have been spurred on by a warm, dry fall.

With Lake George residents and advocates keeping a careful eye on the lake, DEC scientist Lauren Townley (pictured here) updated the Lake George Park Commission on the state’s latest HABs action plan for Lake George, which was updated in August. She shared the update in Bolton at the Lake George Park Commission’s first in-person meeting since prior to the pandemic.

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Thursday, June 2, 2022

Sun’s out, HABs out?

HABs map

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.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2021

How to Report a Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB)

harmful algal bloom, aka HABDEC’s harmful algal bloom (HABs) notification season has begun. HABs notifications will be updated through the fall using an online reporting and notification system dubbed NYHABS. The system includes an interactive map that shows reports of freshwater HABs, as well as a public reporting system. Instructions on how to use NYHABS are on DEC’s HABs notification page.

Know it:  If you see a HAB, please use the reporting form to submit a report to NYHABS.

Avoid it:  Because waterbodies may have HABs that have not been reported to DEC, we recommend avoiding contact with floating mats, scums and discolored water.

Report it: If you, your family, or pet have been in contact with a HAB, please rinse with clean water and report any symptoms to your local health department.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Harmful algal blooms are here

harmful algal bloomsIt’s harmful algal bloom season, and Lake George had its first reported one of the season last week.

Getting information about it was messy. The Lake George Association first reported the suspicious bloom, found during a routine Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program survey, to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. DEC staff confirmed it was a harmful algal bloom and posted that information on its notifications page. I saw that report and requested information from both LGA staff and the DEC. What then ensued was a back-and-forth between DEC and LGA, via email and phone. It was clear that though the bloom was documented a couple of days before, no one was on the same page about how to get information out about it. There was even discrepancy over whether to call it a harmful algal bloom.

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Friday, November 13, 2020

Harmful algal blooms found on Lake George, Mirror Lake

In an unfortunate coincidence that may be no coincidence at all given the warm temperatures, two of the region’s famed lakes have been partly covered by harmful algal blooms in the past several days.

The first is Lake George, which hadn’t had a confirmed algal bloom on its surface.

The second is Mirror Lake, the lake at the center of the Village of Lake Placid. This algal bloom could also be a first for that lake.

I’ve been writing about the potential for harmful algal blooms to strike Adirondack lakes over the past year, starting with a look at the worst case scenario, which is what years of runoff have done to Lake Champlain. That story include a quick primer on what we’re talking about:

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