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Cool end to the week doesn’t stop HABs from forming on Seneca Lake

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Despite an overcast and cool end to the weekend across Seneca Lake, which is not typically conducive for the formation of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), numerous occurrences were reported along the northwestern shoreline.

Interestingly, there were no blooms noticed during the warmer and sunnier early part of the week. Over the week, volunteers conducted 73 shoreline surveys. There were 10 reported blooms and seven confirmed between September 4 and September 10.

As part of their ongoing efforts to inform the public, Seneca Lake Pure Waters has expanded its alert system this year to provide text notifications when a confirmed HAB is spotted.

Designed to ensure that residents and visitors are vigilant about HABs, this system sends out a single text alert per day, regardless of the number of reported incidents, to avoid overwhelming recipients. For clarity, it’s noted that a commonly mistaken algae for HABs is Cladophora.

Unlike HABs, Cladophora is green, non-toxic, and typically found on submerged surfaces in the Great Lakes and other inland waterways. This algae, due to its texture and growth behavior, is distinguishable from HABs, which are easily scattered by environmental factors like wind and waves.