Owasco, Cayuga, Skaneateles lakes’ harmful algal bloom summit kicks off

Skaneateles, Owasco and Cayuga lakes took the spotlight Monday at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in the second of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's four harmful algal bloom summits statewide.

The summits are part of a $65 million proposal in the state budget to fund watershed plans for 12 priority lakes across the state at $500,000 each. Remaining funds are slated for projects in the watersheds that hope to reduce harmful algal blooms, a growing problem in New York and across the country that is affecting drinking water and recreational activities.

Local and state leaders gathered Monday for the first of two full-day technical sessions prior to a public meeting that will be held Tuesday night. State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos, state Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard Ball and State Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker kicked off the session, which took a deeper look into what potentially causes harmful algal blooms and what is being done and can be done to protect water quality.

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