ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Governor Andrew Cuomo addressed a wide range of environmental topics in his State of the State Address.
Last year, more than a 100 beaches were closed due to harmful algae blooms, impacting drinking water for cities across upstate New York. In his speech, Gov. Cuomo briefly addressed how he will tackle this problem.
“The growing concentration of chemicals and pollution in some areas is literally poisoning the water,” Gov. Cuomo said.
Despite the launch of the $2.5 billion Clean Water Act, the process of removing algae blooms has been slow since it takes extensive and costly treatments.
“We must attack these growing health threats now because we will not poison our children. We have been talking about this for years, no more procrastination.”
Gov. Cuomo announced that he plans to implement a $65 million initiative that will combat harmful algae blooms across the state. It will target 12 lakes upstate, including Lake George, which Assemblyman Dan Stec represents.
“There are many reasons to want to protect and preserve our lakes, especially the ones that are tourist draws and the ones that people live on but this funding and the acknowledgement from the state is encouraging,” Assemblyman Stec said.
Assemblyman Peter Lawrence from Rochester took a slightly different stance. Although harmful algae blooms are threatening areas in his district, he says the state needs to also be mindful of the budget deficit.
“If anything can be done I would like to see it done, but again there is a lot on our plate and we need to pay for the things that we do. We have to prioritize…it can’t be one of these things where we’re trying to do everything.”