Kathy Welsh

Kathy Welsh

ALBANY – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the dates and locations of four summits supporting the state’s comprehensive effort to protect vulnerable lakes and waterbodies in Upstate New York from harmful algal blooms.

Cuomo Announces Regional Harmful Algal Bloom Summits  

Photo: Commons.wikimedia.org

The four regional summits are part of the $65 million four-point initiative unveiled in the Governor’s 2018 State of the State to aggressively combat harmful algal blooms in Upstate New York.

The increasing frequency and duration of harmful algal blooms threaten drinking water quality and the recreational use of lakes essential to upstate tourism.

The first of the summits will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 27, in New Paltz, New York.

“Protecting water quality is a top priority and New York is committed to addressing growing threats like harmful algal blooms,” Governor Cuomo said. “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.”

As part of his 2018 State of the State announcements, the Governor 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. The summits will bring together national and state experts, including 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.

Each of the four summits will include an evening session that is open to the public where background information about harmful algal blooms will be provided. The sessions will include talks by experts, a panel discussion and an opportunity for local residents to share recommendations and ideas.

The four evening sessions will be held on:


Tuesday, February 27 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

SUNY New Paltz Student Union Multi-Purpose Room, 2nd Floor

1 Hawk Drive

New Paltz, NY 12561.

Free parking will be available on the campus

Central New York
Tuesday, March 6 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. 
SUNY ESF Gateway Center Building

1 Forestry Drive

Syracuse, NY 13210
Free parking available in all ESF designated lots

North Country

Tuesday, March 20 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Best Western Ticonderoga

260 Burgoyne Road

Ticonderoga, NY 12883

Western New York
Monday, March 26 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
R. Thomas Flynn Campus Center, SUNY Monroe Community College, the Forum

1000 East Henrietta Road

Rochester, New York 14623
Free parking in campus lots N and M

At these summits, nation-leading experts will work with local steering committees to begin development of tailored action plans to address the causes of algal blooms in the twelve priority waterbodies across the state. The action plans developed for each waterbody will be used to guide the development and implementation of priority projects, including new monitoring and treatment technologies. The action plans will be complete by the end of May and the lessons learned through these action plans will be applied to other impacted waterbodies.

The state’s panel of national Harmful Algal Blooms experts includes:

  • Greg Boyer, Professor, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
  • Karl Czymmeck, Senior Extension Associate, Cornell University Department of Animal Science
  • Tim Davis, Associate Professor, Bowling Greene State University, Ohio
  • Art DeGaetano, Professor, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University
  • Sally Flis, Director, Agronomy, The Fertilizer Institute
  • Jennifer Graham, Research Hydrologist, USGS Kansas Water Science Center
  • Nelson Hairston, Frank H. T. Rhodes Professor of Environmental Science, Cornell University
  • Dave Matthews, Director, Upstate Freshwater Institute
  • Tim Mihuc, Professor of Environmental Science, SUNY Plattsburgh
  • Hans Paerl, Professor, University of North Carolina
  • Heather Raymond, Program Coordinator, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
  • Angela Shambaugh, Aquatic Biologist, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Dr. Steve Souza, Founder, Princeton Hydro LLC
  • Dr. Harold W. Walker, co-director of the New York State Center for Clean Water Technology, SUNY Stony Brook
  • Judy Westrick, Director of the Lumigen Instrument Facility, Wayne State University
  • Steve Willhelm, Professor, Department of Microbiology and Center for Environmental Biotechnology, University of Tennessee  

The four evening sessions will also be available live online.

Please visit Livestream to learn the many ways in which these events can be watched in real time including a desktop browser, mobile browser, free livestream mobile app, and others.



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