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State lawmakers propose HABMAP Act to combat harmful blooms

New legislation proposed by Democratic state lawmakers aims to address the increasing issue of harmful algal blooms (HABs) in New York’s waterways. State Sen. Rachel May and Assemblymember Anna Kelles introduced the Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring and Prevention (HABMAP) Act, which focuses on creating a centralized resource for reporting and managing HABs. This initiative includes gathering information on causes, interventions, expertise, and funding for preventing and mitigating these ecological threats.

HABs, which have been more prevalent in recent times, affected 204 water bodies across New York in 2022, as reported by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. These blooms pose risks to recreational and drinking water sources. The HABMAP Act aims to facilitate a better understanding and management of these blooms, thus protecting the state’s water quality.

Sen. May emphasized the importance of preserving New York’s freshwater resources, highlighting the potential dangers of toxic algal blooms. Assemblymember Kelles pointed out the bill’s significance in understanding HAB causes and improving water quality. The proposed legislation positions New York as a leader in generating critical data to combat pollution and harmful algal blooms in lakes.