This interview has been edited for clarity.
Harmful algal blooms, HABS, occur in the summer months in waterbodies across the country. But winter is when researchers and activists review the data and assess the impact of the season’s blooms. The toxins are dangerous to human and animal life. More of them are showing up in the Finger Lakes, especially Cayuga Lake.
Walter Hang is the founder of Toxics Targeting. He says it’s an environmental database compiler helping engineers and consultants combined with a public interest environmental advocacy organization. 2023 marks the 25th anniversary of his work in Ithaca. This fall Toxics Targeting renewed its call for Governor Hochul to implement a HABS clean-up program for the state. When we spoke in October the initial data about HABS blooms had just been compiled. I started by asking Hang about this year's conclusions.