New York State's Water Quality Rapid Response Team, national experts and local stakeholders collaboratively developed Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Action Plans for twelve priority lakes that are vulnerable to HABs, are critical sources of drinking water, and are vital tourism drivers. These twelve lakes were chosen as part of New York State's HAB initiative because they represent a wide range of conditions and vulnerabilities, and the lessons learned will be applied to other impacted waterbodies moving forward.
When HABs Action Plans are developed for other waterbodies in the state they will also be posted on this page.
Inside the Plans
Each action plan identifies contributing factors fueling HABs and immediate actions that can be taken to reduce the sources of pollution that spark algal blooms.
Specifically, each lake's action plan includes:
- Lake Background
- Designated Uses
- User and Stakeholder Groups
- Monitoring Efforts
- Water Quality Conditions
- Summary of HABs in the Lake
- Waterbody Assessment
- Conditions Triggering HABs
- Sources of Pollutants
- Lake Management / Water Quality Goals
- Summary of Management Actions to Date
- Proposed HABs Actions
Harmful Algal Bloom Action Plans
On Monday, December 14, 2020, staff from DEC presented a webinar about Lake George. The presentation included a summary of HABs documented on Lake George in Fall 2020 and updates on the priority projects identified in the 2018 HAB Action Plan. View the slides that were shared as part of the Webinar (PDF).
Monhagen-Middletown Reservoir System
Local Action Needed
Local support and implementation of each plan's recommended actions are crucial to successfully preventing and combatting HABs. The New York State Water Quality Rapid Response Team has established a one-stop shop funding portal and stands ready to assist all localities in securing funding and expeditiously implementing priority projects.
Communities and watershed organizations are encouraged to review the plan for their lake, particularly the proposed actions, and work with state and local partners to implement those recommendations. Individuals can get involved with local groups and encourage their communities or organizations to act.
Steering committee members are encouraged to coordinate with their partners to submit funding applications to complete implementation projects. See below for more information on these funding opportunities.
This Action Plan is intended to be a 'living document' and interested members of the public are encouraged to submit comments and ideas to [email protected] to assist with HABs prevention and treatment moving forward.
Eradicating HABs is a long-term effort that will require active collaboration at all levels of government and citizen engagement moving forward. The state has prioritized funding for many of the projects identified in the Harmful Algal Bloom Action Plans, including the following:
|Water Quality Improvement Project Program
|Municipalities, municipal corporations, soil and water conservation districts; for land acquisition, not-for-profit corporations are also eligible
|Projects to reduce polluted runoff from diverse non-agricultural sources, green infrastructure, nutrient treatment upgrades at wastewater plants, projects to limit internal recycling of nutrients within a lake, and land acquisition to buffer drinking water sources.
|Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering Planning Grant
|Municipalities with median household income equal to or less than $70,000 according to the United States Census 2017 American Community Survey or equal to or less than $90,000 for Long Island, NYC and Mid-Hudson REDC regions
|Smaller grants to support initial engineering reports and plans for wastewater treatment repairs and upgrades that are necessary for municipalities to successfully submit a complete application for grants and low interest financing.
|Non-Agricultural Nonpoint Source Planning Grant
|Municipalities, soil and water conservation districts
|Grants to produce planning reports for nonpoint source water quality improvement projects.
|Clean Water Infrastructure Act (CWIA) Septic Program
(Deadline for application: varies by participating county)
|Funds county- sponsored and administered household septic repair grants.
|Repair and replace existing, yet failing, household septic systems in hot-spot areas of priority watersheds via grants channeled through participating counties.
|CWIA Inter-Municipal Grant Program
|Municipalities, municipal corporations, soil and water conservation districts
|Wastewater treatment plant construction, retrofit outdated stormwater management facilities, install municipal sanitary sewer infrastructure.
|Agricultural Non-Point Source Pollution Control Grants
|Soil and water conservation districts
|Projects to reduce polluted runoff from agricultural sources through the planning and implementation of Best Management Practices such as cover crops, riparian buffers and nutrient management systems.
|Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Waste Storage and Transfer Program Grants
|Soil and water conservation districts
|Implementation of comprehensive nutrient management plans through the completion of agricultural waste storage and transfer systems on larger livestock farms.
|Water Infrastructure Improvement Act Grants
|Grants for capital projects to upgrade or repair wastewater treatments plants and to abate combined sewer overflows, including projects to install heightened nutrient treatment systems.
|Green Innovation Grant Program
|Municipalities, state agencies, private entities, soil and water conservation districts
|Grants for projects to install transformative green stormwater infrastructure.