This summer was absolutely perfect for outdoor activities. Some hot days, some cool days, and plenty in between with lots of sun and enough rain to keep everything looking nice and green. One thing has been putting a strain on our natural bodies of water though, and its something most people who prefer water activities should take note of if they wish to continue enjoying them. There has been a continued spread of harmful algae blooms in New York, reaching more than 80 lakes. A popular stay-away camp in Skaneateles called Lourdes Camp had to send their kids home due to the water and air around the camp being contaminated. They're not just choking the life in the lakes- they can be harmful to us, and VERY harmful to your dogs. The algae blooms are green/blue in color, and pictures and tips for identifying this dangerous algae can be found on the New York DEC website.
These algae blooms seem to favor warm water and lots of rain, as well as pollutants which result in the runoff from farms and yard waste that end up in lakes. If seen, even at lakes which have already been reported to have an outbreak of this invasive species, it is important to contact the DEC to report an algae bloom and keep yourself, your young ones and your pets away from it. Even breathing it in could be harmful! By and large there is not much to be concerned about, these kinds of things happen during hot wet summers, but the environmental impact as well as the health hazards posed by the algae is noteworthy- be safe when enjoying the waters in CNY and be sure to de-funk your water craft after using it in any lake before embarking for another one. We Central New Yorkers love our finger lakes- lets be sure that we can continue to use them safely!