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Cuomo proposes increased efforts to fight toxic algae

Watertown Daily Times - 12/24/2017

Dec. 24--Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has added an initiative to clear upstate lakes of toxic algae bloom to his State of the State wish list.

Announced Thursday, the governor's proposal involves dedicating $65 million for municipalities to team up with environmental experts and develop action plans to combat the spread of toxic algae harmful to drinking water and recreational activity in lakes.

"Protecting water quality is a top priority and through these actions and funding, we are providing direct assistance to communities to ensure their water resources remain clean," Gov. Cuomo said in a statement. "This comprehensive program will continue New York's national leadership in responding to the threat of harmful algal blooms and implement new and innovative strategies to safeguard our clean water for future generations."

This past summer, the state Department of Environmental Conservation listed several dozen upstate lakes as having high concentrations of harmful algae. Of those lakes, Black Lake in St. Lawrence County was confirmed to have harmful algae blooms. Panther Lake and Lake Neatahwanta in Oswego County also had confirmed cases.

Because of this increase in toxic algae, the state had to close several public beaches to prevent illness.

Under Gov. Cuomo's proposal, four regional summits held next year would connect environmental experts with steering committees designated for each lake.

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(c)2017 Watertown Daily Times (Watertown, N.Y.)

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