NEW YORK (WENY) -- Harmful Algal Blooms (HABS) are a significant threat to our region that is very dependent on the many lakes and rivers for tourism and sporting activities. Corning Incorporated has teamed up with the State University of New York to fight the algae problem. 

’’Corning Hyperspectral Imaging Sensors (HSI), that was created in New Hampshire, takes pictures to detect environmental abnormalities like pipeline leaks and harmful algal blooms. ‘’ said Dr. Leon Desmarais  Jr. of Corning Inc. 

Harmful Algal Blooms have been a problem in the past in this region. These blooms deplete the oxygen of a water body , causing ecosystems to face harsh impacts. Researchers at SUNY are using Corning’s technology (HSI) to fight this issue. 

‘’These sensors can be handheld , attached to a drone or even a satellite. The information gathered by scientists via the HSI sensor can help Water Resource managers pinpoint and mitigate harmful algal blooms or HABs to prevent them in the future. Once water resource managers understand the types and locations of nutrients feeding HABs in their lakes, treatment measures can be taken to address the problem at its source,’’ said Dr. Desmarais.

Corning is also using this same technology to tackle climate change. New satellites are equipped with Corning’s technology (HSI) to detect pipeline leaks, like leaks of methane. Methane is a common greenhouse gas. 

‘’Cayuga Lake has periodic episodes of harmful algal blooms. They come and go. They are triggered by fertilizers that get into the water. They are also triggered by heat, so blooms will become more frequent in a warming earth,’’ said Dr. Catherine Kling at Cornell University. 

According to the Environmental Protection, blooms are a major problem in all 50 states.