Our first cover story of the year was about algal blooms, the harmful outbreaks of bacteria that have been plaguing Lake Champlain and other lakes around the world.
We reported on the conditions that made those blooms a menace: runoff from dairy farms, chemical processes triggered when the whole area was logged decades ago, sewage leaks and warming waters.
The Adirondacks is sheltered from some of that, but the year ended with the first documented harmful algal blooms on Lake George and Mirror Lake.
The economic hit that dirtier-looking water may inflict on tourism is still uncertain. Same with the danger blooms pose to people who depend on lakes for drinking water. If 2020 proves to be a turning point, it will be remembered for a turn in a bad direction. — Ry Rivard
More to explore
Check out the top 20 Adirondack stories from 2020
and dive into other topics in our year-end review.