When it was first announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2017, $65 million was pledged to advance the objectives of the Harmful Algal Bloom (HABs) Initiative.

Since then, millions of dollars have been invested toward implementation, including $500,000 allocated to each priority lake to create their action plans. All twelve of these plans have been completed and are available online. Lessons learned are currently being used to develop strategic plans for restoring water quality and preventing HABs in other New York lakes where HABs have also been reported.

Skaneateles Lake monitoring station

Skaneateles Lake monitoring buoy

(United States Geological Survey)

Portions of several grant programs that fund activities related to HABs mitigation have been set aside to support the remaining $59 million earmarked for the initiative. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation maintains an online inventory of these funding opportunities available to communities if they choose to implement action plan recommendations.

Additionally, pilot projects resulting from the regional summits’ recommendations were announced in the summer of 2018 for three sites within the Great Lakes basin. Researchers deployed two advanced monitoring stations to nearshore and offshore sites on Skaneateles Lake, Owasco Lake, and Seneca Lake. These monitoring stations will provide real-time water-quality information that contributes to the understanding of HABs development, duration, and effects on water quality.