Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

If you see a HAB, avoid and report it.

Keep kids and pets away! Quickly notify us at habshotline@gmail.com

  • We need pictures of the bloom, location of bloom*, and date and time when pictures were taken.
  • *GPS coordinates are highly preferable but approximate address and nearby landmarks will also do.
  • A trained HABs Harrier will respond and take a sample for analysis if needed.

To see where HABs have been identified on the lake, check out:

The Community Science Institute’s HABs Reporting Page and interactive map of Cayuga Lake 

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s state-wide HABs Reporting Page

HABs Video PSA

We would like to share with you the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network’s new HABs Video PSA. The 4-minute video was made by Carly Siege, our Communications Staff, to help inform the public of the threat of HABs, as well as how to spot them and how to report them.


Harmful Algal Bloom on Cayuga Lake in 2017

Credit for Cayuga Lake HABs photos: Don Sargent & Shannon Barrett, 2017.

Harmful Algal Bloom on Cayuga Lake

HABs may be short-lived (appear and disappear in hours) or long-lasting (persist for several weeks). The lakes that are “always” on the list may be blooms in multiple locations or have a persistent bloom. These lakes may be more susceptible to HABs based on high nutrient levels in the water or because of the lake’s physical or land use characteristics. Some lakes are regularly posted on the notifications page as a result of persistent blooms and active surveillance.

The HABs notification page is updated every Friday, late spring through fall. Sometimes there may be a short lag between when a bloom appears (or disappears) and when the lake is listed (or delisted) on the webpage. Listings are moved to the HABs Archive page when a bloom is reported to be no longer visible or no new information was available to update the listing for three consecutive weeks.

Swimmers and recreational users should remember that health and safety cannot be assured outside of designated swimming areas- for more swimming information, visit DEC’s swimming webpage.

For information from the New York State Department of Health about HABs and drinking water, visit: https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/bluegreenalgae/ 


Who runs the Cayuga Lake HABs Harriers Monitoring Program?

The Cayuga Lake HABs Harriers Monitoring Program is led by a partnership between the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, the Community Science Institute and Discover Cayuga Lake.

Cayuga Lake Watershed Network (CLWN): CLWN maintains communication and collaboration between project partners and the watershed public, including public agencies, concerned residents, and municipalities, online at www.cayugalake.org.

Community Science Institute (CSI): CSI trains volunteers to carry out water quality sampling, provides certified water lab services, presents results via community forums with partners, and publicly shares data, online at www.communityscience.org.

Discover Cayuga Lake (DC), or the Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom: DC maintains a commercial vessel, provides classroom, lake and streamside education programs for students, and offers youth internships and public education programs, online at www.discovercayugalake.org.

To learn more about volunteering or providing access, contact:  

Cayuga Lake Watershed Network
Community Science Institute

HABs Reporting

HABs Reporting

Helpful updates from HABs Harriers and other volunteers around Cayuga Lake!
HABs Monitoring Program

HABs Monitoring Program

Helpful updates from HABs Harriers and other volunteers around Cayuga Lake!
HABs in the News

HABs in the News

Helpful updates from HABs Harriers and other volunteers around Cayuga Lake!
2020 HABs Updates

2020 HABs Updates

Helpful updates from HABs Harriers and other volunteers around Cayuga Lake!

Harmful algal blooms, or HABs, occur when cyanobacteria — microorganisms that are naturally present in the lake — grow out of control and produce toxins that have harmful effects on people, fish and other aquatic organisms, mammals, and birds.