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Yates County to state: ‘Include Canandaigua, Keuka, and Seneca Lakes as priorities’

Yates County Legislators are calling on state officials to include Canandaigua, Keuka and Seneca Lakes among the lakes that will be studied with an aim to reduce sources of pollution that spark harmful algae blooms.

Algae blooms, some considered harmful or toxic, developed on all three lakes in the summer of 2017, but the lakes have not been included on a list of 12 priority lakes in New York to be included in a $60 million statewide initiative because they are considered to be critical sources of drinking water or vital tourism drivers.

The initiative was announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in late December. It appears state officials used data from the summer of 2015 and incidents from 2016 to determine which lakes would be priorities. That state Department of Health data concluded that in 2015 there were an estimated 35 HAB-associated illness cases in 16 New York counties, all associated with exposure during recreational activities like swimming and boating.

A 2015 DOH analysis listed both Seneca and Canandaigua Lakes as having HABs.

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