MakingWaves - DEC Launches NYHABS; 2019 HABS Summaries; ADK Ponds; Don't Flush Wipes; Proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement Pipeline Project

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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MakingWaves - News from the Division of Water

In This Issue:

  • DEC Launches NYHABS for 2020
  • 2019 Harmful Algal Bloom (HABs) Notification Summaries Posted
  • Promising News for Adirondack Ponds
  • Don't Flush Wipes or Other Garbage
  • DEC Denies CWA Certification of Proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement Pipeline Project

DEC Launches NYHABS for 2020: New York Harmful Algal Blooms Notification and Reporting System

Song Lake

DEC is once again using an online Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) map and reporting system to inform the public about HABs locations in New York. Dubbed “NYHABS,” the reporting system features an interactive map that is updated daily with reports of HABs. 

DEC is asking the public and trained algal bloom samplers to send reports of HABs with photos electronically via a simple, mobile phone-friendly form. After DEC and Department of Health (DOH) evaluate the reports, they are posted to NYHABS.

When it comes to HABs, DEC encourages New Yorkers to:

  • Know It – HABs vary in appearance from scattered green dots in the water, to long, linear green streaks, pea soup or spilled green paint, to blue-green or white coloration.
  • Avoid It – People, pets and livestock should avoid contact with water that is discolored or has algal scums on the surface.
  • Report It –The public should report a suspected HAB through the NYHABs online reporting form available on DEC’s website. Report health concerns related to HABs to DOH at, or contact your local health department.

Most algae blooms are harmless. However, exposure to toxins and other substances from certain HABs can make people and animals sick.

For more information about HABs, visit DEC’s Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) webpage. You can download the HABs brochure and program guide - which includes information and links to resources regarding bloom prevention, management and control - from the webpage.

2019 Harmful Algal Bloom (HABs) Notification Summaries Posted

Waterbodies with harmful algal blooms (HABs) that were listed on the New York HABs System (NYHABS) in 2019 have been summarized and posted in the 2019 HABs Archive. Since reporting methods changed slightly in 2019 with the introduction of NYHABS, the summary information for each lake differs from previous years. DEC updated the 2012-2019 HABs Archive Summary as well. The Division of Water thanks its many partners and citizen monitors for their contributions to HABs reporting.

Promising News for Adirondack Ponds

Hybrid brook trout

Water chemistry values for 13 ponds in the Adirondacks have been recently evaluated and indicate that the brook trout that inhabit those waters may have the potential to reproduce naturally. Therefore, stocking fish in these ponds will be suspended in 2020 and 2021, and the ponds will be surveyed in 2022 to determine if stocking is needed. Since 1984, water chemistry monitoring and fish surveys have been conducted in Adirondack lakes and ponds to assess the impacts of acid rain. Thanks to the air emission laws in place, some Adirondack ponds are reviving. 

Don't Flush Wipes or Other Garbage

Flush Responsibly

Certain materials flushed down toilets can damage sewer systems, wastewater treatment operations, or private septic systems, even when they are labeled as flushable. Correcting the damage is expensive, so do not flush any of the items listed below, no matter how small. Please throw them in the trash. 

  • diapers
  • baby wipes
  • disinfectant wipes
  • personal hygiene products
  • any paper products other than toilet paper (e.g., paper towels, facial tissues, paper napkins) 

DEC Denies Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the Proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement Pipeline Project

DEC has announced its denial of the required Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) pipeline project. The full decision is outlined in a letter by Daniel Whitehead, director, DEC's Division of Environmental Permits.

DEC has determined construction of the NESE pipeline project would not meet New York State's rigorous water quality standards. DEC conducted a comprehensive review of the NESE application and supporting materials, as well as the more than 16,000 public comments received on the application, before reaching this decision.