>> For Immediate Release: 2/14/2018
>> Four Summits in Mid-Hudson, Central NY, Western NY and North Country to 
>> Allow Residents to Hear from Local, State and National Harmful Algal Blooms 
>> Experts 
>> Governor Announces Creation of Expert Panel and Local Steering Committees to 
>> Develop Action Plans 
>> Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today 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. The 
>> four regional summits are part of the $65 million four-point initiative 
>> <https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-unveils-12th-proposal-2018-state-state-protecting-new-yorks-lakes-harmful-algal>
>>  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, February 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:
>> Mid-Hudson
>> 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 (includes Cayuga Lake)
>> 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
>> DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "At Governor Cuomo's direction, DEC 
>> scientists and water quality experts are actively investigating the causes 
>> of algal blooms and pioneering new and innovative solutions to address the 
>> challenge these blooms pose across the state. With the launch of these 
>> regional summits, DEC will work with national experts, our state agency 
>> partners and local leaders, to prioritize actions necessary to protect New 
>> York's vital water resources."
>> Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "Protecting New York's drinking 
>> water from harmful algal blooms continues to be a top priority for Governor 
>> Cuomo. The Department of Health's scientists have been actively testing 
>> blooms and monitoring waters statewide. These summits are an important 
>> opportunity for these scientists to work with regional and national experts 
>> to hone best practices and reinforce the state's robust response protocol 
>> which is designed to stay ahead of this environmental threat to public 
>> health." 
>> State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "Investing in the 
>> protection of our state's lakes and waterways now will ensure our precious 
>> natural resources remain viable for our future generations.  With the 
>> Governor's focus on water quality and environmental sustainability, these 
>> summits will help New York State better assess the challenges faced from 
>> algal blooms and create a blueprint to move us forward."
>> Senator Betty Little said, "The economy and ecology of the Adirondack Region 
>> are intertwined. The quality of our waterways is paramount, and I 
>> enthusiastically support this initiative of Governor Cuomo and the DEC to 
>> identify the sources and find solutions to address the dangerous algal 
>> blooms. This is a very serious problem. I'm looking forward to the summits 
>> and the opportunity for collaboration among a variety of stakeholders."
>> Senator Patrick M. Gallivan said, "By bringing water quality experts 
>> together with local leaders and the public, we can share important 
>> information on how to protect our lakes and waterways from harmful algal 
>> blooms, which threaten drinking water supplies, recreational activities and 
>> tourism. I encourage community members to participate in these upcoming 
>> sessions." 
>> Senator Catharine Young said, "Upstate New York's beautiful lakes are 
>> environmental and recreational jewels that are enjoyed by millions of 
>> residents and tourists annually. However, the increasing prevalence of 
>> harmful algal blooms poses a health and safety risk that must be addressed. 
>> Chautauqua Lake, identified as one of the priority lakes in the Western New 
>> York region, has been profoundly impacted - a costly situation which 
>> compromises water quality and could undermine the major economic development 
>> efforts occurring on the waterfront. I appreciate the Governor's commitment 
>> to this issue through these regional summits, which will be extremely 
>> helpful in understanding the scope of this critical problem as well as the 
>> possible solutions."
>> Senator Terrence Murphy said, "My district is home to the ponds and lakes 
>> most affected by harmful algal blooms and hypoxia. When the reservoir that 
>> provides drinking water for New York City turns green for three weeks a 
>> year, you know you have a problem. As the author of legislation to create a 
>> mechanism whereby the state can study, respond to, and mitigate harmful 
>> algal blooms and look forward to working with the Governor on this regional 
>> initiative to engage water quality experts who will help craft solutions to 
>> protect our water."
>> Senator Pam Helming said, "The increase of harmful algal blooms such as 
>> blue-green algae continue to threaten pristine sources of water in the 
>> Finger Lakes region. We must ensure that water bodies across New York State 
>> like Seneca, Canandaigua, Cayuga, and Owasco Lakes, which provide drinking 
>> water and recreational opportunities to hundreds of thousands of residents 
>> and countless tourists, are given the appropriate resources needed to combat 
>> this growing problem. Failure to do so could be detrimental to both public 
>> health and our region's economy. I thank Governor Cuomo for hosting these 
>> regional HABs summits and his continued attention to this growing issue in 
>> the Finger Lakes."
>> Senator John J. Bonacic said, "New York has some of the most pristine lakes 
>> and bodies of water in the entire country, and we must do everything we can 
>> to protect them from harmful algal blooms. I thank the Governor for 
>> convening these important summits and encourage residents to share their 
>> recommendations."
>> Senator David J. Valesky said, "I applaud Gov. Cuomo for directing the 
>> state's Water Quality Rapid Response Team to hold these summits. We must 
>> take aggressive action to protect our clean water sources from the 
>> increasing threat of harmful algal blooms."
>> Assemblymember William Magnarelli said, "One of the lakes affected by 
>> harmful algae bloom, Skaneateles Lake, is the main source of drinking water 
>> for the City of Syracuse and other municipalities in Central New York. It is 
>> imperative that we are committed to addressing the growing threat of the 
>> algae bloom problem in the safest way to ensure the quality of the drinking 
>> water and recreational use of the lakes. The summits will help find the most 
>> efficient and environmentally helpful solutions."
>> Assemblymember Sandy Galef said, "We have seen algal blooms in my district, 
>> and know from experience that this is a very serious issue. I hope that many 
>> people will attend these meetings to learn how to best protect our 
>> environment to keep our drinking water and recreational waterways clean and 
>> accessible." 
>> Assemblymember Billy Jones said, "Algal Blooms have wreaked havoc on our 
>> North Country waters and they can potentially produce harmful effects on 
>> people, wildlife, drinking water and tourism. I am pleased that the state is 
>> committed to combatting this issue and these summits will bring about ideas 
>> to protect our waterways from future devastation."
>> Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said, "Harmful Algal Blooms are 
>> impacting lakes across New York State. The state is working with citizens on 
>> the ground to identify and report blooms, which is critical to keeping 
>> drinking water safe. Thank you to Governor Cuomo for his plan to reduce HABs 
>> and getting everyone on board to help solve this problem."
>> Steven Neuhaus, Orange County Executive said, "By swiftly convening state 
>> agencies, local communities, and the nation's leading experts for a series 
>> of summits to address harmful algal blooms, Governor Cuomo is making a 
>> pledge to protect New York's water sources for generations to come. The 
>> upcoming HABs summits will help the state study what is causing blooms, 
>> educate us on how to control them, and reduce this emerging threat to 
>> communities across the state."
>> George Borrello, Chautauqua County Executive said, "Harmful algal blooms are 
>> increasing in frequency and duration across New York State. Our focus must 
>> shift from treating the symptoms to treating the disease. Governor Cuomo 
>> recognizes that we must address the cause and determine how we can reduce 
>> this threat to our economy and the health and safety of our citizens and 
>> visitors. I thank the Governor for his leadership so that New York can rise 
>> to the challenge and make big investments in research and outreach to ensure 
>> clean and safe water for all."
>> Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said, "I am thankful that Governor 
>> Cuomo is addressing the harmful algae blooms issue that has affected lakes 
>> throughout the region, including three in Putnam County. This is a very 
>> important issue for the people who reside in these communities—not only for 
>> recreational purposes, but for drinking water quality. I am confident that 
>> New York State providing funding as well as a collaborative team of experts 
>> to ensure clean and safe water in the affected areas will make all the 
>> difference in the ability to combat the problem."
>> Harry McManus, Chair of Clinton County Legislature said, "Governor Cuomo's 
>> $65 million 4-point initiative to aggressively combat harmful algal blooms 
>> in Upstate New York is a dynamic and aggressive plan to help our communities 
>> stay ahead of an emerging threat that endangers water quality for millions 
>> of New Yorkers. This first-of-its-kind program is a reflection of New York's 
>> national leadership in responding to threats to the environment and will 
>> help to implement new strategies to safeguard our waters for future 
>> generations. This is an example of the Governor's continuing commitment to 
>> put environmental issues at the forefront of his agenda. The people of 
>> Clinton County applaud this first step in the right direction."
>> Randy Preston, Chairman, Essex County Board of Supervisors said, "Thank you 
>> Governor Cuomo for recognizing the critical importance of our lakes as vital 
>> water sources and economic engines which need to be protected. HABs are a 
>> direct threat statewide and we appreciate the Governor's leadership on this 
>> issue."
>> Pat Mahunik Cayuga County Legislature Chairman said, "With today's 
>> announcement, New York is one step closer to understanding the threat of 
>> harmful algal blooms. Thanks to Governor Cuomo's enduring commitment to our 
>> environment, New York is leading national efforts with regional HABs summits 
>> that will bring together internationally recognized researchers and 
>> scientists and environmental experts with community leaders to develop 
>> innovative strategies to attack HABs in lakes across the state."
>> Charles Sudbrink Cortland County Legislature Chairman said, "For the last 
>> several years, Upstate New York lakes have experienced harmful algal blooms 
>> with increasing frequency. These blooms have shut down beaches and 
>> threatened drinking water sources. Today's announcement marks a significant 
>> moment for Governor Cuomo's comprehensive plan to reduce this threat to our 
>> communities. By educating communities experiencing blooms, for the first 
>> time we can design plans to address the threat of HABs and thanks to the 
>> Governor, we have the resources to put those plans into action."
>> Robert Shipley, Chairman of the Seneca County Board of Supervisors said, 
>> "HABs in Upstate New York threaten both sources of drinking water and the 
>> recreational use of lakes important to upstate tourism. The state's Water 
>> Quality Rapid Response Team is working with national experts and local 
>> stakeholders to collaboratively develop community-specific action plans and 
>> cutting-edge pilot projects, including new monitoring and treatment 
>> technologies. These summits will help inform and guide treatment and in 
>> turn, help waterbodies across the entire state."
>> Jack Marren, Chairman Ontario County Board of Supervisors said, "Once again, 
>> Governor Cuomo is showing his commitment to protecting New York's 
>> environment for communities today and for future generations tomorrow. Under 
>> his leadership, the state continues to make significant investments to 
>> investigate the cause, nature, and extent of harmful algal blooms in order 
>> to jump start solutions to address this growing threat. Working together 
>> with state and national experts, New York will learn from communities 
>> first-hand and put what we learn into action plans to protect our waters."
>> Ron Conover, Chairman, Warren County Board of Supervisors said, "The threat 
>> posed by HABs at affected lakes throughout the state is significant and 
>> requires action. I commend Governor Cuomo for his commitment to getting 
>> ahead of this issue to protect our lakes, our drinking water and our tourism 
>> economy."
>> David LeFeber, Chairman, Livingston County Board of Supervisors said, "Thank 
>> you Governor Cuomo for his comprehensive plan to combat harmful algal blooms 
>> in Livingston County, and across the entire state. Today's announcement and 
>> the upcoming regional summits are the first steps in an ongoing effort to 
>> safeguard the state's drinking water while protecting the economic engine 
>> many of these bodies of water serve in our communities."
>> Martha Robertson, Chair, Tompkins County Legislature said, "Protecting New 
>> York waterbodies for both recreational opportunities and drinking water 
>> quality has been a priority of local governments and Governor Cuomo's 
>> administration from the start. Our lakes cross municipal borders so we need 
>> the State's leadership, and the upcoming HABs summits will bring all parties 
>> together. New York, once again, has stepped up to the challenge with 
>> landmark funding and a dogged determination that will ensure clean and safe 
>> water for all New Yorkers."
>> Doug Paddock, Chairman, Yates County Legislature said, "Harmful algal blooms 
>> impact many of New York's lakes, and extensive research is needed to fully 
>> understand what causes them. Through the state's Water Quality Rapid 
>> Response Team, Governor Cuomo continues to make significant investments to 
>> study these blooms. These summits will assemble leading national water 
>> quality experts together to devise lasting solutions to protect lakes to be 
>> studied and other important water bodies across the state."
>> The four evening sessions will also be available live online 
>> <https://livestream.com/hvccstreaming/HABsSummits#_blank>. Please visit 
>> Livestream 
>> <https://help.livestream.com/hc/en-us/articles/209656508-How-Do-I-Watch-an-Event-on-Livestream-?flash_digest=c87b72ecb6be1ebdb13f7a739a1b808f33bb7d17#_blank>
>>  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.
>> Governor Cuomo's Harmful Algal Blooms program builds on the State's $2.5 
>> billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act investments in clean water 
>> infrastructure and water quality protection throughout New York State. The 
>> Harmful Algal Blooms initiative will be supported with funds from both the 
>> Clean Water Infrastructure Act and the Environmental Protection Fund. 
>> Through the Governor's leadership, New York has developed the most 
>> comprehensive Harmful Algal Blooms outreach and monitoring programs in the 
>> country, led by DEC sampling of ambient waters across the state and DOH 
>> sampling at regulated beaches and public water systems.
>> ###
>> Aimee Clinkhammer
>> Watershed Coordinator, Finger Lakes Water Hub
>> New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
>> 615 Erie Boulevard West, Syracuse, NY 13204
>> P: (315) 426-7507 | F: (315) 426-7459 | aimee.clinkham...@dec.ny.gov 
>> <mailto:aimee.clinkham...@dec.ny.gov>
>> www.dec.ny.gov <http://www.dec.ny.gov/> |  <https://www.facebook.com/NYSDEC> 
>> |  <https://twitter.com/NYSDEC> |  <https://www.instagram.com/nysdec/>

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