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September 29, 2022  - Welcome to the Skaneateles Lake Association's (SLA) monthly e-newsletter distributed the last Thursday of each month.

Clear Lake. Pure Water. promotes watershed wide protection of Skaneateles Lake by sharing news on SLA's and community partner work around the watershed along with tips and takeaways on how we can all play a part in lake protection through Lake Friendly Living efforts. 

In this issue please find information on the following:
  • SLA wins Judges Award Labor Day Weekend Fireman's Grand Parade - see photos from event and link to story.
  • Invasive Species - Milfoil Lake Survey underway to plan for 2023 control program. 
  • Spotlight on Research -  Syracuse University collects deep water lake sediment samples to better understand historic nutrient loading.
  • Watershed Improvement Projects - Lake-Friendly Living -  considering septic upgrades with financial support from Onondaga, Cayuga, and Cortland Counties; Greenfield Farm selected for Leopold Conservation Award; Auburn Skin Divers help clean-up lake
  • Water Quality & Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Updates - Lake Data and HAB Updates (No HAB reports since September 9th).
  • Upcoming Special Event - 10-5-22 @ 7 PM - Owasco Watershed Lake Association hosts virtual public forum with Dr. Rebecca Schneider of Cornell University presenting on "Stormwater Impacts from Road Ditches and other Sources".
  • Membership & supporting SLA through Amazon Smiles with Halloween and other fall shopping. 
Please enjoy!
Photo - L2R- Bill Dean, Kurt Werner, Kitty (Werner) Robinson, Tess Torrisi, Jo Werner, and Andy Robinson aboard the Dr. Robert Werner Research & Education Boat.

SLA showcased at Labor Day Weekend Fireman's Grand Parade

Editor, Skaneateles Press Observer:

In 1932 when Victor Arden and Phil Orman wrote the song “I love a Parade”, they gave tribute to the military parades of the times that still ring true for the present on Memorial Day, 4th of July and Veteran’s Day.

But, here in Skaneateles, the Skaneateles Volunteer Fire Department gives the community members and visitors a different type of parade to love on Labor Day   It is a parade that embodies so much of the life and spirit of Skaneateles – organizations, businesses and community groups “march” to showcase who they are and what they do for the community and the community and visitors come to cheer them on and, of course, grab some of the never-ending candy.  After two years of no parade, this year the crowds on the sidewalks and gathered on lawns in front of village houses were never ending

The Skaneateles Lake Association (SLA) was pleased to be selected by the Fire Department to be one of the community groups honored in the Labor Day Parade this year and we thank the Fire Department for the honor.

The SLA was showcased by our boat/float, “The Dr. Robert Werner Research & Education Boat” with the Werner Family (Jo, Kitty, Kurt and Andy) on board the boat along with the boat’s do-designer and builder, Bill Dean and Tess Torrisi in charge the candy toss.  John Menapace, co-designer and builder of the Boat, and Paul Torrisi, SLA President, carefully pulled the boat and its passengers in the parade.

Frank Moses, SLA Ex. Dir., and I are thankful for the students who volunteered to also showcase our efforts to keep Skaneateles Lake clear and its water pure. Carolyn McSwain in the Milfoil Monster Costume with Isabella Karpinski as a Milfoil Team Member “matted” the Milfoil Monster all along the parade route.  Max Karpinski and Lilly Miller carried the “Milfoil Control” banner that can be seen on the Milfoil Team boats when they are out working on the lake and Elliot Holm and Tara McSwain junior Invasive Species Monitoring Stewards carried the sign to remind all that our SLA Stewards help those who come to launch ensure their watercraft and trailers are clean, drained and dry.

For so many reasons, “We Love a Parade”.  A community showcase and specifically for the SLA an opportunity to showcase our many efforts to keep the Skaneateles Lake clear and its water pure.

Thank you to the Skaneateles Volunteer Fire Department for putting in all the effort for give the community a PARADE to love.


Fran Rotunno Fish

For the SLA Board of Directors

Source:  Skaneateles Press Observer 9/15/2022

Carolyn McSwain in the Milfoil Monster Costume with Isabella Karpinski as a Milfoil Team Member who “matted” the Milfoil Monster all along the parade route.
Photo: SLA Lake Ecology Team Co-Chair Dr. Bill Dean holding "Rake Toss" sample of Eurasian Watermilfoil during Milfoil Survey effort. 

Milfoil Survey Underway to Plan for 2023 Control Program

Each year at the end of the summer and early fall, SLA staff and volunteers search the lake shallows for the aquatic invasive plant Eurasian Watermilfoil (Milfoil).

Research suggests that plants like Milfoil, that if left unchecked, can grow exponentially and provide additional nutrient loading as they die off at the end of their growth season. Along with reducing recreational quality of life, Milfoil also replaces native plants and can diminish support of aquatic life like trout and other fish. 

The Milfoil Survey effort helps prioritize where about 6 acres of benthic matting (specialized underwater landscape matting) should be placed the following year. The matting program is part of the SLA supported Milfoil Control Program serviced by Aquatic Invasives, Inc.

Photo -  2021 Aquatic Plant Patch map (not all Milfoil) used as part of survey effort

2022 marks the inaugural year where the Milfoil Survey has been conducted from the Dr. Robert Werner Research & Education Boat ("The Bob").  Using newly operational sonar equipment, SLA has been able to more easily record and analyze aquatic plant locations and the size of patches.

Photo - Lowrance Ghost trolling motor with sonar recording capability.

With more Milfoil in the lake than there is currently available matting, it is important to determine where the largest "monoculture" (only one plant type) patches of Milfoil exist. Milfoil Survey information helps identify those largest patches that are candidates for matting the next year. 

Photo - Example of Milfoil sonar signature on display

Investments from SLA to address threats from Invasive Species costs over $250,000 annually. This includes support of the Milfoil Control and the Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention program with the boat stewards.  Onondaga County has recently committed $40,000.00 through the Finger Lakes-Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance (FLLOWPA).  Thanks greatly to all who continue their support of these important programs!

Remember to keep your boats "Clean, Drained, & Dry"!
Photo - SU lake bottom core sampling team including Dr. Christopher Scholz, Jacqueline Corbett, McKenzie Brannon, Laura Streib and SLA Research & Education Boat Pilot Kevin Donnelly aboard "The Bob". 

Dr. Robert Werner Research & Education Boat
Supports SU Efforts in Lake Bottom Sediment Research

To better understand in-lake nutrients, such as phosphorus, that can promote Harmful Algal Blooms, Dr. Christopher A. Scholz, Dr. Charles T. Driscoll, and team members Jacqueline Corbett. Laura Streib, and McKenzie Brannon of Syracuse University have recently been collecting lake bottom sediment core samples on both Skaneateles and Oneida Lakes.

The sediment samples collected from both lakes will help determine changes in their watersheds over the past 350 years.  Researchers will be exploring similarities and differences in findings from Skaneateles as an “oligotrophic” (low nutrient) lake and Oneida as a “eutrophic” (high nutrient) lake. Core samples will also be dated to provide historical information to better understand which years experienced greater sediment nutrient loading than others.

(photo - Jacqueline Corbett with Skaneateles Lake bottom sediment sample)

Additional information from stream sediment loading and nutrients entering the lake surface water through “atmospheric deposition” (rain, snow, and other precipitation events) will be used to compare with the core sediment sample results.

SLA is proud to see its research boat “The Bob” support important studies like this to offer a better understanding that can help with future lake protection decision making.  
To learn more about "The Bob", named after the late Dr. Robert Werner who dedicated his time and expertise to SLA since its inception in 1969, please visit: 
Septic Enhancement Grants

Funding is available for septic system replacement or upgrades for eligible residents in the Skaneateles Lake Watershed.  Please click on the respective County below regarding program details. Failing septic systems can add nutrients to our lake and add to the problem of Harmful Algal Blooms. Thank you for considering making upgrades to better protect Skaneateles Lake. 

Cayuga County

Cortland County

Onondaga County
Greenfield Farms Selected for the 2022 New York AEM-Leopold Conservation Award

Distinguished award recognizes farms for efforts in promoting and protecting the environment through the preservation of soil and water quality while ensuring farm viability for future generations.

Congratulations to the Greenfield family and thank you for your efforts in being a leading example in New York to improve farming practices in important watersheds like Skaneateles Lake. 

Read full press release HERE.
Stock Photo- August Arroyo cleaning up lake in past event

Auburn Skin Divers Association hosts 32nd Annual AWARE Lake Clean-Up Project

Thanks greatly to organizers Diana O'Brien, Terry DeWitt, Bob DeWitt (SLA Board Member), and all the volunteers who helped out with the clean-up effort at Sandy Cove and near the Village of Skaneateles on Saturday, September 24th.  A great annual stewardship effort!

Volunteers getting ready to launch and dive- in

Clean-up catch of the day

SLA Milfoil Boat helping with the haul - thanks Bob Dewitt for piloting.
To date the last Harmful Algal Bloom on Skaneateles Lake was reported was on September 9th.  

Observations of HABs on New York State lakes including Skaneateles, can be accessed HERE.

The NYS DEC and NYS Department of Health continue to promote "Know it. Avoid it. Report it." when it comes to responding to HABs.

To learn more about the dangers of Harmful Algal Blooms, how to identify them, and how to report them, please visit HERE.  We need more eyes on the lake to be aware of any HABs. Thank you!

HAB experts have noted that algal bloom growth under the right conditions including nutrient availability can be optimal when water temperatures reach 75-77 degrees Fahrenheit. In the past month, north end surface temperatures have dropped from 76 degrees F to 63 degrees F.

A graph of United States Geological Survey (USGS) temperature readings by the Skaneateles Village Pier for the month of September can be found below. More real time and historic USGS data on Skaneateles Lake can be accessed HERE.
October 5, 2022 at 7 PM - Stormwater, Ditches, & Culverts Presentation - Owasco Watershed Lake Association hosts virtual public forum with Dr. Rebecca Schneider of Cornell University presenting on "Stormwater Impacts from Road Ditches and other Sources". Click HERE to register.
SLA Membership & Support

Please help share the word with your neighbors encouraging them to become members of SLA if they aren't already.  

Also, shopping for young ones' or young at heart Halloween costumes or candy or other reasons to be purchasing on Amazon this fall?  You can now support SLA as you shop. Consider locking in SLA as a default organization to support. Visit HERE for more details.
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