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> EH>Water>Blue-green Algae

Blue-Green Algae (Cyanobacteria)
Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

Current HABs Status for Beaches & Waterways (local & NYS)

Screenshot of a PDF page of textNYS Parks Current Beach Status (PDF download from NYS Parks). Scroll to Finger Lakes section. 
Screenshot of the CSI HABs map for Cayuga LakeCurrent status of all Cayuga Lake beaches (map from Community Science Institute)
NYS DEC HABs Notification Page (map of current freshwater HABs in NYS.

Photo: Finger Lakes Land Trust, Cayuga Lake 2017-08-02-1600hr
Photo: Finger Lakes Land Trust, Cayuga Lake Aug. 2, 2017, 4PM. FLLT Facebook post Aug 3.

(August 2018) — Bluegreen Algae Blooms, also known as HABs (Harmful Algal Blooms) were observed at various locations in Cayuga Lake during the summers of 2017 and 2018, including in Tompkins County. The situation is being monitored with regular observer patrols along the shoreline by the Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), assisted by many trained volunteer observers.

If you are planning to host a water event, please contact TCHD Environmental Health for guidance: (607) 274-6688. Beaches may be closed due to the presence of HABs. Please contact the facility directly for more information. There is no concern with public water supplies at this time.

The Health Department is advising individuals that they should be aware of the possibility of HABs and know how to identify and report blooms they might discover.

  1. Know It
    • If water appears discolored or has an unpleasant odor, do not drink the water and avoid contact with it.
    • To identify harmful and non-harmful algae blooms click here for a photo gallery.
  2. Avoid It
    • If contact occurs with suspicious blue-green algae, rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove algae. For dogs that may have gone in the water, prompt action is particularly important to prevent them from ingesting matter that sticks to their fur.
    • If you are not on a public water supply, household water treatment such as Ultraviolet (UV), boiling, or chlorinating will not make your water safe for use. During a bloom, do not drink, prepare food, cook, or make ice with water from the lake or from beach wells.
    • For current status of NYS Parks beaches and swimming sites, Click Here (PDF download from NYS Parks).
  3. Report It
    • If you see a suspicious bloom, stay out of the water and report the bloom to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation by filling out a Suspicious Algal Bloom Report Form online. Follow instructions on the form for submitting the completed form.
    • Report any HAB-related health symptoms to the NYS Department of Health at, or call the Tompkins County Health Department at (607) 274-6604.
  4. For more information about HABs

POSTER (PDF download):  HAB Awareness Poster

NYSDOH image for blue green algae awareness 2017

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Cyanobacteria (EPA website)