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WCNY’s ‘SciTech Now’ features segment ‘Blue Green Algae blooms and Central New York Drinking Water’

WCNY, Central New York’s flagship public broadcaster, explores algae blooms in Skaneateles Lake, on its “SciTech Now” weekly television program. The feature airs at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 28 on WCNY-TV. For viewing information, visit The feature will be available online at

Potable water is one of the most essential resources to humanity – but often taken for granted by the public. But for one Central New York community, their drinking water – with a reputation for being “pristine” – is now front and center in the community conversation due to a recent, toxic algal bloom. The bloom erupted early fall throughout Skaneateles Lake – which supplies water throughout Onondaga County – including the City of Syracuse. As government, activist groups and the public struggle to understand the cause of the sudden and unexpected bloom, scientists point to climate change as one underlying factor that must be considered.

Because these cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) produce toxins that present a hazard for drinking water and some can cause liver damage or cancer, concerned citizens and government officials have come together to both enforce regulations and create policies to combat as many bloom creating circumstances as possible moving forward.

Featured Guests

  1. Dr. Robert Werner SUNY ESF Professor of Limonology
  2. Dr. Paul Torrisi President, Skaneateles Lake Association
  3. Dr. Greg Boyer SUNY ESF Professor, Great Lakes Research Consortium Director
  4. Dr. William Dean Ph.D. Biochemist
    Skaneateles Lake Association
  5. Mary Menapace Skaneateles Lake Association

This SciTech Now segment was produced as part of “Peril and Promise”, an ongoing series of reports on the human impact of, and solutions for, climate change, overseen by WNET. Lead funding for the initiative is provided by P. Roy Vagelos and Diana T. Vagelos. Major support is provided by Marc Haas Foundation and Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III.

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