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 on the lake HABs have been spotted:

Check out the following map provided by the Community Science Institute: 


Check out the DEC HABs Notification Page:


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

Harmful Algal Bloom on Cayuga Lake, 2017

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

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/ 

Answers to almost every single question you might have about HABs: Harmful Algal Blooms FAQs NYS DEC

Who runs the 2019 Cayuga Lake HABs Harriers Monitoring Program?

The 2019 Cayuga Lake HABs Harriers Monitoring Program is led by a partnership between Discover Cayuga Lake, Community Science Institute and the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network.

Cayuga Lake Watershed Network: CLWN maintains communications and networking between project partners and the watershed public, including public agencies, concerned residents, and municipalities, online a www.cayugalake.org

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

Discover Cayuga (aka Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom): DC (FC) maintains a commercial vessel and educators, and provides classroom, lake and streamside education programs for students, 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!
2019 HABs Monitoring Program

2019 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!

Harmful algal blooms, or HABs, occur when colonies of algae — simple plants that live in the water — grow out of control and produce toxic or harmful effects on people, fish and other aquatic organisms, mammals, and birds.