MOREAU, N.Y. (NEWS10) — United States Geological Survey (USGS) scientists are collecting sediment core samples to look back as far as 150 years. They’re using the samples to study the history of Cyanobacteria Blooms in New York’s Moreau Lake.

USGS explains there have been an increasing number of cyanobacteria blooms reported in waterbodies globally in recent years, with several in Moreau Lake since 2018. The history of blooms in this lake prior to recent events is unknown. Cyanobacteria blooms alone can lead to environmental impacts such as fish die-offs. The cyanobacteria also have the potential to produce cyanotoxins, which can pose additional risks such as human illnesses and pet poisoning.

USGS Scientists collect samples in Moreau Lake

The new samples will allow scientists to collect real-world data and study blooms over a long period, providing insight into how frequently they have occurred in this lake in the past. USGS is not certain of the cause of the blooms but is potentially due to both natural and man-made influences. Cyanobacteria may cause harmful algal blooms when they grow in excess and out of control. USGS scientists have been involved in many research projects for more than two decades. The project is being done in cooperation with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.