New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
DEC Delivers – Information to keep you connected and informed from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Did you know?
The majority of lakes and ponds in New York support swimming, fishing, and other recreational uses. However, some lakes are affected by water quality concerns that can prevent or limit recreational activities. Aquatic invasive species and harmful algal blooms have been around for a long time, but they are getting worse and may represent the largest threat to New York State lakes, ponds and reservoirs.
DEC and its partners are implementing a number of initiatives to address aquatic invasive species including: preventing them from entering lakes and ponds with boat stewardship programs; prohibiting the worst of these exotic species from being sold or transported in New York; and sponsoring very active volunteer monitoring programs to detect and respond to foreign species before the invasions are too advanced to manage.
To address harmful algal blooms, DEC: works with researchers to understand the cause of blooms; supports extensive professional and volunteer monitoring programs to find and verify blooms; notifies the public about the location and extent of blooms to help protect recreational users; and implements public educational programs.
Many water quality concerns are the result of nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, reaching lakes from urban stormwater runoff, septic systems and agricultural runoff. New York is developing strategies to reduce the amount of nutrients entering our waters. Examples include: restrictions on the use of lawn fertilizers containing phosphorus, urban stormwater controls, and erosion control measures.
Test your water knowledge
Are harmful algal blooms caused by algae or bacteria?
On DEC’s website, you can find:
Top Water Quality Issues, the ten most prevalent causes/sources of water quality impacts/impairments in the assessed waters of New York State
Diet for a Small Lake, a compendium of information about the ecology, monitoring, and management of lakes and watersheds throughout New York State
Dishwasher Detergent and Nutrient Runoff Law restricts the use of lawn fertilizers containing phosphorus
Water Quality Inventory/Priority Waterbodies List, a compilation of water quality information for all individual waterbodies (lakes, rivers, streams, estuaries and coastlines) in the state
Answer: Bacteria. Although they used to be called “blue green algae”, cyanobacteria, which are the main component of freshwater HABs, are actually bacteria that can conduct photosynthesis and produce liver, nerve or skin toxins.