Last year’s blue-green algal blooms caused big problems for neighbors on Skaneateles Lake, affecting their drinking water. This year, neighbors are making sure it doesn’t happen again.

In September of 2017, algae blooms containing high levels of a toxic compound called microcystin were found on Skaneateles Lake.

“Microcystin causes skin irritation in humans, I guess there have even been a few examples of people who have died from it. It certainly can kill pets if they get into it and lick their fur and that sort of thing,” said Dr. Robert Werner, a former ESF professor and lake neighbor.

Dr. Werner says one of the Skaneateles Lake Association’s ideas is forming a group of volunteers to monitor the shoreline.

“We’ll have a number of volunteers, I don’t know exactly how many, and each one will have a segment of the shoreline that they’re responsible for, and they will survey it on a regular basis,” said Dr. Werner.

Dr. Werner says neighbors plan on also monitoring nutrients in the water, hoping their vigilance will keep the blooms at bay.