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 HABsInfo@dec.ny.gov 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:
Other HABs – marine blooms, other types of algae blooms, and some HABs on Lake Champlain.
TOXIC ALGAE BROCHURES
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
NYS Department of Health
US Environmental Protection Agency
US NOAA HAB Research
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)
Toxic Algae Articles
Finger Lakes Land Trust Publications
Toxic Algae Maps
Toxic Algae Videos
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
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