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Pilot program aims to detect harmful blooms in Finger Lakes

May 15, 2019

GENEVA, N.Y. (AP) — Scientists are collaborating on a high-tech early warning system to detect harmful algal blooms in the Finger Lakes.

The U.S. Geological Survey and New York state are launching the pilot program Wednesday.

Authorities say newly installed technology on Owasco, Seneca and Skaneateles Lakes will quickly detect changing water-quality conditions that could indicate a harmful algal bloom, or HAB, is developing. Most algal blooms are harmless, but in some cases they can pose a threat to people, animals and aquatic ecosystems.

The early warning system is part of a $65 million initiative by New York to combat harmful algal blooms throughout the state.

Scientists hope to gain a better understanding of their growth and severity, and make more informed decisions about how to deal with them.