By Lileana Pearson SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a four-step plan to fight harmful algae blooms (HABs) in a dozen New York lakes.
The plan’s first step already has been completed with 12 lakes identified as most at risk for HABs. Among the lakes are Cayuga, Owasco and Skaneateles, which provides most of Syracuse with its drinking water.
Next, New York’s four regions — western, central, northern and Hudson Valley — each will play host to summits of national and local experts, conservation groups and members of the public.
At the summits, lakes in that regions will assess the root cause of blooms as sources such as runoff or invasive species that can be specific to the body of water.
Shannon Fabiani, water and ecology specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Onondaga County office, said an invasive insect on the southern shore of Skaneateles Lake is partially to blame for last year’s bloom.
Once plans are devised, the state will invest up to $60 million dollars — or about $500,000 per lake — to address and deter blooms.