Study: Climate Change Hinders Summer Fun On Lake Erie

STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Increased water quality problems tied to global climate change are affecting the way people fish, boat, and swim on Lake Erie, according to a paper published last month in the Journal of Park and Recreation Administration.

Will The Public Swim In Onondaga Lake?

SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – Onondaga County lawmakers want to make it clear that a potential study that outlines the possibility of a beach along Onondaga Lake, doesn’t mean there will be swimming there anytime soon.

Study Will Determine Feasibility Of Onondaga Lake Beach

It’s been almost 80 years since anyone was able to swim in Onondaga Lake from a public beach. Years of industrial pollution and sewage outflow destroyed any hope of public access until recent years, following a multi-million dollar cleanup of the lake once deemed the most polluted in the country.

Can New York Solve Harmful Algal Blooms?

GREAT LAKES RADIO – In the Great Lakes region, toxic algae blooms are a big problem. Every summer, they leave a green sheen on parts of the Great Lakes – and on many smaller lakes. New York State has a new campaign to find solutions. But some question the approach.

Raising Fish…To Make Booze

GREAT LAKES TODAY – Out on farmland in western New York, near the shore of Lake Erie, is Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing. Here, they make more than just booze. They also raise fish.

Tree Removal Project Along Erie Canal On Hold

ROCHESTER (WXXI) – The New York State Canal Corporation has agreed to wait until February to continue their project that’s removing trees from canal embankments between Medina and Pittsford. That’s after a protest a few weeks ago and a meeting held earlier this week, where residents and three town supervisors from Brighton, Pittsford and Perinton voiced concerns about the project. The Canal Corporation says they need to remove the trees to maintain embankment integrity and prevent erosion. They say the roots cause the embankments to weaken. But those who live along the canal weren’t so quick to let that happen.

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Group: At Least 3.8 Billion Gallons Of Sewage Discharged Into New York Waters

ROCHESTER (WXXI) – A group that says it works to protect our air, land, water and wildlife is updating its 2016 report “Tapped Out: New York’s Clean Water in Peril, and they’re finding billions of gallons of sewage are being discharged in state waterways. Liz Moran is water and natural resources director for Environmental Advocates of New York. “We’ve found that since 2013, 10,687 sewage overflow events in New York State have been reported, totaling to over 3.8 billion gallons of sewage discharged,” she said. Moran says thanks to the Sewage Pollution Right to Know Act of 2012, reporting of overflows has greatly improved, but the group maintains serious underreporting exists. She points to Chemung County, which has reported only 1 sewage overflow since 2013.

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Tompkins Health Department Warns Of Blue Green Algae In Cayuga Lake

The Tompkins County Health Department says harmful blue-green algae has been found in Cayuga Lake. In a press release, the Department says the Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) have been “visually identified” on each side of the Southern end of the lake, and that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has confirmed the HABs.  Ingesting water infected by blue-green algae can make humans and pets ill. The Department is urging residents to look out for strongly colored water, a paint-like surface and floating mats or scum. You can see sample images here of both HABs and non-toxic green algal blooms. Boiling, chlorinating, or otherwise treating your water will not make it safe to use during a bloom. The Department has this instruction: “During a bloom, do not drink, prepare food, cook, or make ice with water from the lake or from beach wells.” Pets should also be kept from drinking untreated surface water.

Chesapeake Bay’s ‘Dead Zone’ Expected to be Bigger Than Average This Summer

Scientists predict the Chesapeake Bay will have a larger than average ‘dead zone’ this summer, where oxygen levels in the water are so low fish and crabs will leave the area, if they can. Photo: Bay Journal

According to the Bay Journal, a year after experiencing its best water quality in decades, the Chesapeake Bay is expected to have a larger than average “dead zone” this summer, where fish, crabs and shellfish will struggle to breathe. Researchers with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) and the University of Michigan are forecasting that the volume of oxygen-starved water in the Bay will grow to 1.9 cubic miles, enough to nearly fill 3.2 million Olympic-sized swimming pools. A “dead zone” is a popular term for water that’s low in oxygen, or hypoxic. Fish often leave such areas; if they’re trapped — or immobile, like shellfish — they can suffocate.

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Water Upgrade Money Can’t Fix All Systems In New York’s Towns, But It’s A Start

Many drinking water systems in New York State are “past their useful life.” That’s how the state comptroller puts it. But they’re expensive to replace. So, in the final state budget, Governor Cuomo and lawmakers agreed to devote $2.5 billion over the next few years to upgrade the state’s water infrastructure. For Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D-Ithaca), this money is just a “down payment” on all the work that needs to be done. “$2.5 billion is a lot of money, but in five years, we’re going to be looking at this again probably and saying, ‘okay, we probably need to do another round of this and keep going on these upgrades,’” said Lifton.