Update on Status of Aurora Beach and Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

July 30, 2018
As of July 30, the beach has been open as usual.

UPDATE (Monday, July 30, 11 a.m.):

The beach and swimming area are open as usual today. The swimming area at nearby Long Point State Park, is also open today; however there are no lifeguards on duty. Please call the park at 315-364-5637 for details.


Just a reminder: You can always find the latest information at the village of aurora website.


ORIGINAL STORY (Thursday, July 12):

Please note that the swimming area next to the College dock has been closed upon the order of the Cayuga County Department of Health due to the presence of harmful algal blooms (HABs). Although the beach is on land owned by the College, the day-to-day operations of the beach and its swimming area are managed by the Village of Aurora. 

According to the Auburn Citizen and the Community Science Institute, a suspicious bloom was reported at the Aurora beach last Thursday, July 5. No mycrocystin toxins were detected in the sample that was tested, and the beach was reopened last week; however, the beach was closed again earlier this week when another bloom appeared. The county’s health department tested a second water sample that was taken yesterday, and those results came back negative for evidence of toxins. The Village plans to reopen the beach on Friday unless another bloom is spotted.

We encourage all community members to check with the Village of Aurora for further updates regarding the operating status of the Aurora beach. The Village will continue to update its website, village.auroranewyork.org, as updates become available. 

Eileen O’Connor, the county’s director of environmental health, has stated that there is no reason to be concerned about the quality of Aurora’s drinking water, which the Wells College water plant provides to both the College community and to the Village of Aurora. The College’s water plant – which is staffed by three employees who are certified by the health department – will continue to test the water quality seven days a week, as per its usual protocol.

Please Report New HAB Sightings

According to the Community Science Institute, HAB outbreaks have been spotted at over a dozen other locations on Cayuga Lake, including both the east shore (Long Point State Park, Lansing Station Road and Bolton Point) and west shore (Romulus, Trumansburg and Glenwood Point). 

If you spot a harmful algal bloom on Cayuga Lake, please report your sighting to both habshotline@gmail.com and HABsinfo@dec.ny.gov. County and state officials are requesting that digital photographs of such blooms be submitted via email whenever possible, to help with the identification and monitoring of HAB outbreaks.

IMPORTANT: Do not enter the water if HABs are present, and keep children and pets away. This includes boating, kayaking, fishing and other activities. Please note that Campus Safety will not allow individuals to borrow College-owned canoes or kayaks if the county has closed the swimming area due to HAB blooms or other health-related reasons.

We encourage all members of the College and local communities to educate themselves on how to recognize and avoid these harmful algae blooms, which can release potentially dangerous toxins into the water. Please visit the websites listed below for more information. 

Harmful Algae Bloom Resources

Village of Aurora website

Village of Aurora: July 10 HABs update (PDF document)

Cayuga Lake Watershed Network: “Harmful Algal Blooms Action and Information”

Cayuga County: Harmful Algal Blooms resources page

Cayuga County Health Department press release: “Harmful Algal Blooms: Know It, Avoid It, Report It” (July 11, 2018)

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation: Harmful Algal Blooms FAQs

Citizen: “Algal Blooms Continue on Cayuga Lake” (July 12, 2018)

Community Science Institute: 2018 Cayuga Lake Harmful Algal Bloom Information


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