WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Schumer is calling on his colleagues to help address the growing algae problem being seen in waterways across the state, including here in Chautauqua County.
On the heels of reports confirming that harmful algae continues to spread throughout Upstate New York, Schumer is calling on Congress to quickly pass the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act.
Schumer said the bill would help combat the recent rise in toxic algae found in Upstate New York. And Schumer warned, that left unchecked, these toxic blooms could contaminate drinking water for Upstate New York residents, as well as damage the local economy dependent on fishing and recreation.
Schumer said that the bill, sponsored by Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), provides funding, but also $22 million a year for five-years for research and response efforts to combat Blue Green Algal bloom outbreaks throughout the country.
Schumer said the algae blooms are caused by a number of factors, including nitrogen pollution as a result of older wastewater systems. Experts say climate change has also brought warmer temperatures and more spring rainfall, both of which favor the growth of algae blooms.