Bill Memo: HABs Monitoring and Prevention Act

1-Tree: Beneficial rating


This bill amends the environmental conservation law and state finance law to establish the Harmful Algal Blooms Monitoring and Prevention Act, directs DEC to expand their HABs mitigation efforts, and establishes a HABs prevention grant program for municipalities.


This bill directs the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to establish a statewide harmful algal bloom (HAB) data collection and monitoring program. The findings of this program will be consolidated into a report, and this report must inform DEC’s HABs regulations. Lastly, this bill also creates a grant program for municipalities who need funding to address HABs-related issues in their water supplies.

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are an environmental phenomenon caused by the out-of-control growth of algal colonies, usually caused by high levels of nutrients and warmer weather. HABs release large amounts of dangerous toxins into water bodies, leading to wildlife death, polluted water, disrupted ecosystems, and millions of dollars in mitigation and repair efforts.

HABs are a serious issue across New York State, affecting bodies of water from Long Island to the North Country. According to DEC, over 1,000 HABs occurred in 2022 in 204 individual water bodies in 52 New York counties. HABs pose a particular risk for small, underfunded municipalities who are unable to mitigate the rampant presence of algal overgrowth, leading to a decrease in water-based industry and compromised drinking water supplies.

We can’t fix what we don’t measure. New York State desperately needs to control the constant threat of HABs, especially as climate change continues to spur their occurrences at faster rates. The provisions of this bill allow for increased data transparency on the prevalence and effects of HABs across the state, while funding municipal mitigation efforts and prioritizing the integrity of New York’s water-rich ecosystems.

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Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Beneficial

Memo #: 26