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Algae summits battle the blooms in region

Will summer 2018 bring another scourge of algae to the Finger Lakes? A $65 million project to combat harmful algae blooms at select water bodies in the state is bringing in national experts to work with state and local leaders in battling the blooms that pose a hazard to health and drinking water — not to mention an economic blow to recreation and tourism.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a round of summits by region to begin taking place next week, including one set for March 26 in Brighton.

“Protecting water quality is a top priority and New York is committed to addressing growing threats like harmful algal blooms,” stated Cuomo. “These summits are bringing experts from across the country and New York leaders together with local authorities to develop new and innovative strategies to safeguard our water for future generations.”

Cuomo directed the state’s Water Quality Rapid Response Team — co-chaired by Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos and Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker in partnership with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets — to convene four regional Harmful Algal Blooms summits. Experts will include scientists from Kansas, Ohio, Tennessee and Vermont, as well as SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Cornell University, the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee, and local stakeholders.

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