Harmful Algal Blooms
What are “HABs”?
HABs. An acronym for “Harmful Algal Blooms”. Anyone who keeps up with the news recognizes the term. HABs are becoming an all-too-familiar, and unwelcome, feature in fresh and salt water systems around the world Our own Owasco Lake has been hard-hit by HABs in the past few years. They can threaten the safety of our drinking water and our aquatic recreation, as well as the survival of other life that depends upon healthy aquatic ecosystems.
OWLA has been active in HABs research every year since the Department of Environmental Conservation began a 2015 pilot shoreline surveillance program on Owasco Lake. In 2018, OWLA will continue providing volunteers, but also manage the program. Due to our sampling, we know that the increasing blooms in our lake are sometimes highly toxic. We don’t know why. Something is seriously wrong! It’s vital for our lake, and for the community that depends on it, to learn everything we can.