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> HABs Reported in Cayuga and Dryden Lakes 2018-09-11

 N E W S   R E L E A S E 

Your Partner for a Healthy Community
Frank Kruppa — Public Health Director


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

For more information:
Regarding drinking water or recreational water activities, contact the Environmental Health Division: 607-274-6688
Regarding HAB-related health symptoms, contact Community Health Services: 607-274-6604

HABs Alert: Harmful Blue-Green Algae in Dryden Lake

(Ithaca, N.Y., September 11, 2018) — The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has reported multiple blue-green algae blooms, also known as HABs (Harmful Algal Blooms), in Cayuga Lake and recently in Dryden Lake this summer. Monitoring is continuing. These blooms may be small in size and confined to specific areas of the shoreline and bays. Areas where blooms are not observed can continue to be used for recreational use.

The Tompkins County Health Department urges residents and visitors to beware of blue-green algae. These blooms can occur in any calm body of water and may produce toxins that are harmful to people and animals. Do not drink the water and avoid contact with the water if it appears discolored or has an unpleasant odor. To learn more about HABs and for links to other resources, visit the TCHD HABs page.

If contact occurs with suspicious blue-green algae,

  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove algae. Rinse dogs that may have gone in the water so that they do not lick their coats.
  • Stop using water and seek medical attention immediately if symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, skin, eye or throat irritation, allergic reactions or breathing difficulties occur after drinking or having contact with blooms or untreated surface water.

The Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, Discover Cayuga Lake, and the Community Science Institute (CSI) have organized volunteers to conduct HAB monitoring in Cayuga Lake this year. These “HAB Harriers” have been trained to identify HABs and monitor selected locations on the shoreline on a weekly basis. The results are available on the CSI website 2018 HABs Results page.

Information on these and other blooms are reported by the DEC and are available on the TCHD HABs page.

Report any HAB-related health symptoms to the NYS Health Department at or call the Tompkins County Health Department at (607) 274-6604.

  • If you see a suspicious bloom, stay out of the water and report the bloom to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation at .
  • Please fill out and submit a Suspicious Algal Bloom Report Form — download a fillable PDF form here. Email the completed form and, if possible, attach digital photos of the suspected bloom (close-up and landscape to show extent and location) to Email the completed form and, if possible, attach digital photos of the suspected bloom (close-up and landscape to show extent and location) to

The Tompkins County Health Department is your partner for a healthy community. Find us online at, and follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @TompkinsHealth.