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Harmful Algal Blooms Return to Cayuga Lake

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) have been reported in Cayuga Lake three times in the past month. Tompkins County Whole Health issued a health alert Monday, urging visitors and swimmers to be cautious during the hot weather.

The Community Science Institute’s database lists the blooms as “highly likely” to be caused by cyanobacteria, though testing is still pending. One small bloom was spotted on June 16 near the Ithaca Yacht Club, while the other two were found near the lake’s northern tip earlier in the month.

Tompkins County Whole Health advises avoiding water that looks discolored or has a bad odor. Pets should also be kept away from these areas. HABs can be harmful to both people and animals, producing toxins in calm waters. If you come into contact with a bloom, wash the area thoroughly. Report suspected blooms to the Cayuga Lake HABs Hotline.