First Harmful Algal Blooms Informational Sign Installed at Back-Achers Campground

Jared Bailey of Back-Achers campground standing next to new signage that warns of harmful algal blooms.

Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association is working to install vibrant new signs around Seneca Lake that warn of a major health and environmental concern appearing in the lake. The signs aim to raise awareness of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), also called Cyanobacteria or blue-green algae, that are found in nutrient-rich waters and can be toxic to people, pets, and wildlife. The Yates County Health Department, partnering with Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association, Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association, and the Keuka Lake Association, produced the HAB informational signs for lakeside locations in Yates County.

The signs are based on a colorful Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) design, tailored for our use, and provide helpful information about how to identify a bloom, what to do when a bloom is spotted, and where to find more information or help. Pure Waters is responsible for distributing and installing signs around Seneca Lake. The goal is to educate people who are using the lake so they can stay safe.

The first sign to go up was installed at the Back-Achers Campground (Jared Road in Himrod, New York.) on July 11th.  Campground owner, Jared Bailey, was excited to be the first location for an outdoor sign after he was approached by his neighbor, Frank DiOrio, Pure Waters’ Vice President for Operations. Jared is pictured with the new sign at left.

Following the Yates County effort, Pure Waters and its partner, Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association (CLWA), secured a grant from the Ontario County Water Resource Council to provide similar signs for Ontario County.

The outdoor signs are aluminum and can be affixed to a standalone pole (as shown) or mounted on any suitable existing surface. Laminated posters for bulletin boards or windows are also available. Both sign types are 16 inches by 12 inches (40.6 cm by 30.5 cm). Pure Waters has a dozen metal signs and poles for each county. Laminated posters are more plentiful. The sign/poster is shown at the end of the article.

Pure Waters and CLWA are looking for locations where property owners are willing to host (free!) signs. Ideal locations are generally places where multiple people access the lake, such as campgrounds, boating clubs, beaches, etc. If your business, club, or municipality would like to host a HAB informational sign, please contact or, as appropriate.

Finally, we need volunteers to help with the sign project. Volunteers will help find locations, work with landowners, and get the signs installed. If interested, please send an email to the appropriate email address above.

Whether educating yourself, hosting a sign, or volunteering to help with the project, you will be helping to keep people and pets safe!

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