Senator Rachel May's Bill to Combat Harmful Algal Blooms Passes Senate with Unanimous Support

Harmful Algal Bloom
The Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring and Prevention (HABMAP) Act safeguards our freshwater resources and protects public and environmental health.

Senator Rachel May’s (Syracuse, Cayuga County) Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring and Prevention Act S8356, which would create a clearinghouse to collect and distribute critical data about harmful algal blooms, unanimously passed the Senate.


The HABMAP Act is a first-of-its-kind resource in New York designed to address harmful algal blooms (HABs). It creates a comprehensive platform for reporting and dealing with HABs, including data on potential and known causes, best practices, expertise, and funding resources. The collected data will be utilized to administer a grant program that supports data-driven best practices in preventing and mitigating HABs.


Harmful Algal Blooms are increasingly common in the state, with 1,053 occurrences in 204 water bodies reported by the DEC in 2022. However, underreporting suggests the actual number may be much higher.


The HABMAP Act empowers municipalities to tackle the ever-present danger of algal blooms in our freshwater resources. By implementing this act, we can ensure the health of New Yorkers, keep our lakes clean for recreational activities, and preserve our freshwater for future generations.

“Our state's freshwater resources are the envy of the world, but they are increasingly vulnerable to pollution and the effects of a warming climate. Every season, toxic algal blooms plague many New York lakes, causing a potentially dangerous situation for residents who depend on lakes for drinking water or use them for recreation,” said Senator Rachel May. “The HABMAP Act will help state and local governments understand, identify, and manage threats to our water while maintaining the high quality of life that residents, employers, recreational boaters, fishing enthusiasts, and tourists from around the world have come to expect. I am grateful to Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins for bringing this bill forward and to Assemblymember Anna Kelles for her partnership in writing this important legislation."



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