Skip to content
Home » Cayuga County » Concerns Rise Over Algal Blooms and Chemicals in Finger Lakes

Concerns Rise Over Algal Blooms and Chemicals in Finger Lakes

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

For more than a decade, the 11 Finger Lakes have struggled with harmful algal blooms (HABs). Now, there is increasing worry about PFAS, also known as forever chemicals, contaminating these lakes, which serve as a drinking water source for thousands.

On June 14, the Finger Lakes Regional Watershed Alliance hosted a “Protecting the Finger Lakes” event at Ventosa Vineyards to address these concerns. The event featured expert panelists Greg Boyer, Charles Driscoll, Adam Effler, and Megan Webster, who discussed the issues of HABs, PFAS, and invasive plant species like hydrilla and water chestnuts.

State Sen. Rachel May, D-Syracuse, and Assemblywoman Anna Kelles, D-Ithaca, introduced four bills aimed at protecting the lakes. These include the New York Open Waters Data Act for better water data practices, the Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring and Prevention Act for coordinated HABs monitoring, the PFAS Discharge Disclosure Act to regulate PFAS discharges, and the Biosolids Spreading Ban Act to limit the use of untreated biosolids as fertilizer.

Jacob Welch of the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association highlighted the importance of collaboration among local groups for more effective protection of the Finger Lakes.