TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. — Tompkins County Health Department issues warning for harmful blue-green algae, and Taughannock Falls State Park announced that they will be closed for swimming as of July 9. 

There have been multiple reports of suspicious Harmful Algae Blooms (HAB) in Cayuga Lake, announced Samantha Hillson, Director of Health Promotion of Tompkins County.

The Health Department has urged visitors to be wary of the blooms that might be small and confined to specific areas in a press release. While warning residents that the blooms can occur in any calm body of water, the County reminded that contact with the water, if it appears discolored or has an odor, should be avoided. If blooms are not observed in some areas, recreational use can be continued. 

For more information on how to identify HAB visit here

If you were to come in contact with the blue-green algae, County states that you must rinse thoroughly with clean water to clean the algae and seek medical attention immediately if you show symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, skin, eye or throat irritation, allergic reactions or breathing difficulties. Residents and visitors are also urged to rinse their dogs if they came in contact with the water. 

The State Health Department asks that all HAB-related health symptoms are reported to either harmfulalgae@health.ny.gov or the Tompkins County Health Department at (607) 274-6604. You can also contact HabsHotline@gmail.com or fill out the Suspicious Algal Bloom Report Form if you come across suspicious bloom. 

A volunteer program ran by The Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, Discover Cayuga Lake, and the Community Science Institute (CSI) is currently running to conduct monitoring Cayuga Lake. The results and information from the program can be found here

You can follow The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s map for reported HABs in the state here. More information regarding HAB can be found here