SUNY-ESF chemists are looking at over 2,000 samples from New York's lakes. (Courtesy of SUNY-ESF)
Chemists at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) are taking a leading role in protecting the water quality of New York’s lakes, according to a release. As proof of that, scientists at the college took more than 2,000 samples from over 130 lakes in the state over the course of 2015.
The samples were gathered as part of the Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program, which is a citizen-science effort backed by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Federation of Lake Associations. After being transferred from the field, all samples passed through SUNY-ESF’s lab, which is one of the few in the United States capable of sampling for the entire family of algal toxins.
The detection capabilities came in handy during the summer of 2015 when a triathlon was getting ready to kick off in the Finger Lakes. Thanks to some early-morning sampling, researchers at SUNY-ESF discovered unsafe levels of a toxin. The find led to the cancellation of the event, helping to keep competitors who would’ve swam in the water from getting sick.
Top image: SUNY-ESF chemists are looking at over 2,000 samples from New York’s lakes. (Courtesy of SUNY-ESF)