Harmful algal bloom

A harmful algal bloom on Owasco Lake in Cayuga County is seen in the summer of 2017. The state is investing $500,000 to prevent algal blooms from becoming a problem in Lake George.

Harmful algae, also known as cyanobacteria, continue to bloom in area lakes.

Summit Lake, Dead Lake and Cossayuna Lake in Washington County, and Moreau Lake and Saratoga Lake in Saratoga County have confirmed or suspicious toxic blooms, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. 

I might sound like a broken record, but this is the nature of cyanobacteria. It can come and go. The state updates a notifications website every Friday.

Six water bodies were added to the list at the end of last week, making a total of 77 New York water bodies affected with blooms. 

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Cyanobacteria generally thrive in warm and calm waters. They need nutrients like phosphorous and nitrogen to grow, so blooms can sometimes appear after rain storms when runoff flows into water bodies. Cyanobacteria is naturally occurring, but sometimes they can be toxic. Scientists are still working to uncover what causes some to produce toxins, and others to not.

In general, the state encourages people and pets to stay away from all blooms.

To see the latest list of water bodies affected, visit dec.ny.gov/chemical/83310.html.

Gwendolyn Craig

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Reporter Gwendolyn Craig can be reached at (518) 742-3238 or gcraig@poststar.com. Follow her on Twitter @gwendolynnn1


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