Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) Mitigation Studies

DEC began mitigation pilot projects on waterbodies representative of a range of water quality conditions commonly associated with HABs in NYS in 2018. Treatment strategies were selected based on literature supporting effectiveness at mitigating HABs, history of application in NYS, and/or potential for cost-effective deployment on a larger scale. Results from previous and ongoing pilot studies are currently being analyzed and will be shared as they become available.

DEC continues to identify potential HAB mitigation technologies for research projects across NYS.

NYS Center of Excellence Challenge Project

In March 2019, New York State designated Clarkson University and SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) to co-lead a new Center of Excellence (CoE) in Healthy Water Solutions to deliver synergistic problem-solving on the wide range of water issues impacting the Empire State. Challenged by Governor Cuomo in 2019 on the issue of HABs, SUNY ESF and Clarkson University have each developed novel HAB mitigation technologies: hydrodynamic cavitation with hydrogen peroxide, and electrochemical oxidation filtration, respectively.

In July 2020, DEC announced a collaborative project (leaves DEC website) to study the above HAB mitigation technologies on Lake Neatahwanta, Oswego County, NY-a small lake with a history of lake-wide HABs. Both treatment systems are designed to collect algae-laden water near the surface, clarify and clean the water then return the water back to the lake. The study will include rigorous water quality monitoring within each treatment system and in study plots in the lake before, during, and after treatments to determine the effectiveness of the technologies.

Public Webinar

On Wednesday, August 12, 2020 from 6 to 8 p.m, DEC presented a public webinar about the project, scheduled to occur in late August-early September 2020. The presentation included a summary of Lake Neatahwanta water quality, a description of the two technologies, and an overview of the study's design.

View a recording of the presentation of the NYS Center of Excellence Challenge Project Public Meeting Webinar (leaves DEC website).


algae and water flowing into a pail to be separated
Concentrated algae is separated and skimmed into one tank,
while water flows out into another tank during testing of the
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center's
HABITATS in Lake Okeechobee, Florida, July 2019. The water and
concentrated algae undergo additional processing, then the clean
water is returned to its original body of water, while the algae
biomass is used to make a variety of other products.
(photo by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

In July 2020, DEC and United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), led by the Engineer Research and Development Center, announced their collaborative project to study an innovative HAB removal technology called the Harmful Algal Bloom Interception, Treatment, and Transformation System (HABITATS) on Chautauqua Lake. The system is designed to collect algae-laden water near the surface, clarify and clean the water then return the water back to the waterbody. For more information please visit USACE HABITATS website (Leaves DEC website).

Public Webinar

On Tuesday, July 28, 2020, DEC and USACE presented a public webinar about the pilot study. The presentation introduced the Chautauqua Lake community and interested stakeholders to the HABITATS project. In August 2020, USACE in collaboration with DEC and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will study the innovative technology on Chautauqua Lake and on-shore at the Long Point State Park. A summary of the project and pictures of HABITATS are in the Chautauqua Lake Algae Harvesting Project (PDF).

To view a recording of the presentation of the July 28, 2020 Chautauqua Lake HABITATS Project Public Meeting Webinar (Leaves DEC website).

More Information About HABs Mitigation Strategies: