Photo: Jack Haley/Messenger Post

Toxic Algae Outbreak Resources & News

Water Quality > Toxic Algae

This page was compiled by the Finger Lakes Land Trust to provide an organized collection of resources about toxic algae, or harmful algal blooms (HABs).  Please also see our regional partners in the fight against toxic algae including watershed associations and local agencies.  Contact us with your suggestions about useful resources to list here.

Report a bloom

If you suspect that you have seen a harmful algal bloom, report it to NYS DEC by submitting the Suspicious Algal Bloom Report Form.  Attach digital photos (close-up and landscape to show extent and location) of the suspected HAB in the web form.  Email if you are not able to complete the form.

Find Reported Blooms

See the interactive map at NYHABS, hosted by the Department of Environmental Conservation, for the location of freshwater blooms reported in New York State during the current calendar year. The map distinguishes between reports within the last 2 weeks and archived reports from earlier in the season. There may be other waterbodies with HABs that have not been reported to DEC. For more on toxic algae outbreaks in New York State, see the DEC notifications page.

On the interactive map, see the report attached to each bloom marker. The reports include:

HAB status – suspicious, confirmed, or confirmed with high toxins. DEC uses visual observations, digital photographs, and laboratory sampling results to determine HAB status. Some HABs can produce toxins, some do not. However, exposure to any HABs can cause health effects in people and animals when water with blooms is touched, swallowed, or when airborne droplets are inhaled. Exposure to high levels of HABs and their toxins can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting; skin, eye or throat irritation; and, allergic reactions or breathing difficulties.

Extent of bloom – small localized, large localized, widespread or lakewide, open water. The extent of the bloom is a rough estimate of the size of the bloom within the waterbody and is recorded by monitoring program staff or from public reports.

Reported by – the user that submitted the report through NYHABS. Reports may come from the public or monitoring programs such as the Lake Classification and Inventory (LCI) Program, Citizen Statewide Lake Assessment Program, and partner monitoring programs.

Not included on the NYHABS map are the following:

Public beach closure and drinking water information see DEC swimming page or your local health department.

HABs from previous years visit the HABs Archive page to be aware of lakes that were listed on the notification page in previous years.

Other HABs – marine blooms, other types of algae blooms, and some HABs on Lake Champlain.

Toxic Algae Videos

Bloom: The Toxic Threat to the Finger Lakes
Produced by WCNY in collaboration with the Finger Lakes Land Trust


NYS DEC “If You See a Harmful Algal Bloom” Brochure (PDF)

NYS DOH “Blue-Green Algae and Health” Brochure (PDF)

Government Sites

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

NYS DEC Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

NYS DEC HAB Photo Gallery

NYS DEC HAB Action Plans

NYS DEC HAB Additional Information

NYS DEC Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP)

NYS DEC Lake Reports (All Counties)

NYS Department of Health

NYS DOH Harmful Blue-Green Algae Blooms

NYS DOH Frequently Asked Questions

NYS DOH Blue-green Algae and Health

NYS DOH HAB Publications page

US Environmental Protection Agency

US EPA Harmful Algal Blooms

US EPA Nutrient Pollution – Harmful Algal Blooms

US EPA Managing Cyanotoxins in Public Drinking Water Systems

US EPA Monitoring and Responding to Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins in Recreational Waters

US EPA Recommendations for Public Water Systems to Manage Cyanotoxins in Drinking Water

US NOAA HAB Research

Harmful Algal Bloom Operational Forecasting System (US NOAA)

Ecology and Oceanography of HABs (ECOHAB) (US NOAA NCCOS)

Monitoring and Event Response of HABs (MERHAB) (US NOAA NCCOS)

Prevention, Control, and Monitoring of HABs (PCMHAB) (US NOAA NCCOS)

Great Lakes Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) and Hypoxia (GLERL)


NYS Publications

NYS DEC Harmful Algal Bloom Brochure (PDF)

NYS DEC Harmful Algal Bloom Program Guide (PDF)

NYS DOH Blue-Green Algae and Health Brochure (PDF)

NYS Sea Grant – Dogs and Harmful Algal Blooms (PDF)

“Harmful Algal Blooms: Colorful Threats” – NYS Conservationist (PDF, p. 12)

“Skaneateles Lake: Protecting a Shared, Vital Resource” – NYS Conservationist (PDF, p. 27)

Toxic Algae Articles

“Harmful Algal Blooms” in NYS Conservationist (PDF, scroll to page 12)

“The Frightening Spread of Toxic Algae” – The New Republic (PDF)

Finger Lakes Land Trust Publications

“Protecting Water Quality in the Finger Lakes Region” – Our 5-Point Initiative (PDF)

cover2“Lakes, Farms, and Forests Forever” – Our Regional Conservation Agenda (PDF)

Toxic Algae Maps

News Reports of Algae Blooms, 2010 to Present – Environmental Working Group

New York State HABs Map – NYS DEC

Toxic Algae Radio

Capitol Pressroom – Listen to FLLT Executive Director Andy Zepp discuss water quality in the Finger Lakes including toxic algae and our Water Quality hub. This segment entitled “Protecting Water Quality in the Finger Lakes” first aired on October 10, 2019.

More from the Finger Lakes Land Trust

Toxic Algae in the Finger Lakes

Toxic Algae Facts for Everyone to Know

Actions We All Must Take Together to Fight Toxic Algae

How is the Finger Lakes Land Trust Fighting Toxic Algae?

Finger Lakes Land Trust Water Quality hub

Also see the archive of press coverage about our Regional Conservation Agenda including articles highlighting the toxic algae threat.



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