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Vol. 5 - Issue No. 2 - February 23, 2023  - 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. 
Dear Friends of Skaneateles Lake-

With February upon us, we have seen interesting fluctuations in the weather with signs of spring and unseasonably warm temperatures followed by snow and ice.  Many ask what does it mean regarding the lake when we have warmer winters and less ice cover on the lakes.  In a recent BioScience peer-reviewed journal article titled Lakes in Hot Water from November 2022, it mentioned, "one of the most realized consequences of climate warming in lakes is an earlier and more prolonged loss of winter ice." 

Less sustained cold season snow and ice covered winters will certainly result in warmer starts to spring and a head start for invasives like Milfoil to take hold creating more management challenges. There are also reationships to fisheries and algal blooms we are still learning more about.

We are glad Punxsutawney Phil called for 6 more weeks of winter and hope March has some lion in it along with a slow thawing lamb so we don't see too much sediment hitting the waters through flash floods.  If not, SLA will need to continue to rise to the occasion with our partners to continue to address surmounting threats. Thank you for your continued support in allowing us to do so!

In this issue, please find the following:
  • Advocating for NYS Environmental Protection Fund - recap of SLA's day in Albany meeting with representatives to maintain support for lake programs.
  • Helping Our Hemlocks Presentation - Cornell Cooperative hosts NYS Hemlock Initiative, Onondaga County Soil & Water Conservation District, and SLA shared updates on research and efforts to protect Hemlocks from infestation of invasives.
  • Upcoming Events - March 8th: "Ups and Downs of Skaneateles Lake" hosted by Cornell Cooperative - lake level presentation by USGS Emeritus Scientist Bill Kappel - March 11th: Owasco Watershed Lake Association's Bob Brower Symposium.  
  • Lake Friendly Living -  Coalition of the Finger Lakes - February Focus on Lake Association Lake Friendly Living Programs- Also, Trees for Tribs and Tree Sale info from NYSDEC.
Please Enjoy!
From the Finger Lakes to Albany traveling companions - L to R - Jake Welch, Board President for Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association; Margie Creamer, Chair and President of the Finger Lakes Regional Watershed Alliance and Board Member of the Otisco Lake Preservation Association, and Frank Moses, Executive Director of the Skaneateles Lake Association, met with various NY representatives to advocate for the Environmental Protection Fund.
On February 14th, SLA along with The Nature Conservancy, fellow lake conservation groups, land trusts, and other environmental organizations advocated to New York State representatives to maintain the $400 Million Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) that supports many water quality protection initiatives, such as the Finger Lakes-Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance (FLLOWPA) program.
Bill Cooke (left) and Jessica Ottney Mahar (podium) of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) speak to over 100 representatives from New York organizations as a kickoff and celebration of 30 years of the Environmental Protection Fund - many thanks to the organizing efforts of TNC!

It is through FLLOWPA and Onondaga County that SLA received $40,000.00 this past year to help support annual costs of close to $200,000.00 to manage Eurasian watermilfoil, an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS). Most support for the program comes from membership and those who select the option in giving toward additional sponsorship of the Milfoil Boat.

The SLA sees important value in the Milfoil Control program run by John Menapace and Aquatic Invasives, Inc. The 2022 SLA Milfoil Control Program Report can be read by clicking HERE.
SLA met with various offices of NYS representatives including NYS Senator Rachel May and a follow up phone call meeting with Assemblyman John Lemondes after providing the following letter that can be viewed HERE
The Milfoil Monster and SLA Executive Director visit New York's Capitol to sustain state support for important programs that help prevent and mange invasive species like Eurasian Watermilfoil. 
Helping our Hemlocks: An Update on Research and Actions to Protect Hemlocks in Skaneateles
Onondaga Cornell Cooperative, with support from City of Syracuse, hosted a presentation on February 22nd sharing research and actions focused on protecting Hemlock trees in the Skaneateles watershed and across NY State from Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), an invasive insect that kills Hemlocks.

The NYS Hemlock Initiative shared research updates on HWA, including the different biocontrol options. The program also provided an update on the independent work of both Skaneateles Lake Association (click HERE for pdf of SLA's presentation) and Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation District in treating Hemlocks in high priority steep ravines in the Skaneateles watershed, on both public and private property. 

As a "foundation" species, hemlocks play a critical ecological role, providing many ecosystem services including protection of water quality. The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is an insect native to Asia that lives and feeds on Hemlock trees. HWA infested trees typically die about 6-20 years after infestation. 

Read recent SLA article on Saving Hemlocks
Hemlock Treatment Areas supported by SLA Legacy Fund
For a list of treatment professionals to support Hemlocks outside of prioritized steep ravines and shoreline banks, click HERE. Contact SLA HERE for additional inquiries.
Support the Legacy Fund Today!
Click image above or HERE to view the 2-22-23 presentation on "Helping Our Hemlocks" with Cornell Cooperative, NYS Hemlock Initiative, and SLA.

The Ups and Downs of Skaneateles Lake

When: Wednesday, March 8th at 7pm
Registration:  (you must register to receive the Zoom link)

Presented by Bill Kappel, USGS Emeritus Scientist

Join Onondaga Cornell Cooperative for a presentation on the “Ups and Downs of Skaneateles Lake.” Lake elevation in Skaneateles Lake is a combination of natural and human actions. This presentation will provide context on Lake elevations over long- and short-term periods of time, and will share information on the natural hydrology of the Lake. This program will also illustrate how Skaneateles Lake is connected to the other Finger Lakes as part of the greater Oswego River Basin, and why that matters for the management of lake elevation.

Questions? Contact Camille Marcotte, Water and Ecology Educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension Onondaga County, at or (315) 424-9485 ext.232.

Cornell Cooperative Extension is an equal opportunity, affirmative action educator and employer. This program is presented by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County. Support for this event comes from the City of Syracuse.

2023 Bob Brower Owasco Lake Scientific Symposium

March 11 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Hybrid Event

2023 Bob Brower Scientific Symposium
Effects of Climate Change on Owasco Lake

March 11, 2023, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Auburn Public Theater, Auburn, NY
and virtually through Zoom

Resiliency and adaptation are key in adjusting to the impacts of climate change. Plan to attend this Scientific Symposium in Plain English as the professionals touch on a variety of key issues:

  • Climate Change basics;
  • The status of Owasco Lake from 2022 monitoring data;
  • Adjusting behavioral and attitudinal practices towards advancing agricultural methods;
  • The importance of long term monitoring of human activities;
  • Invasive species and emerging contaminants that impact our water quality.

Please register in advance for this Free event.
NOTE:  Those seeking NYAWWA CEU’s MUST register for the Symposium

Zoom Registration
In Person Registration
Sign the pledge for Skaneateles Lake HERE and learn what our Lake Friendly Living Coalition friends are up to as well by visiting HERE

DEC's Annual Tree and Shrub Seedling Sale is Now Open

The Colonel William F. Fox Memorial Saratoga Tree Nursery annual spring seedling sale is open to the public and runs until May 12. Each year, the nursery offers low-cost, New York-grown tree and shrub species for sale to encourage plantings that help conserve the state's natural resources and foster the next generation of forests.
Trees provide a variety of benefits:
  • Absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, making them a powerful tool in the fight against climate change;
  • Helping to lower heating and cooling costs;
  • Providing food and shelter for wildlife;
  • Improving water quality by filtering runoff;
  • Preventing erosion;
  • Supplying a variety of wood products that support local economies; and
  • Increasing our overall health and well-being.
DEC's tree nursery grows more than 50 conifer and hardwood species from local seed sources, creating seedlings that are well-suited to our state's climate. They are available in bundles of 25 or more, plus there are several mixed species packets for those looking for a variety. Seedlings are a minimum of five inches tall and are one to three years old depending on the species. For more information including how to order, visit the Spring Seedling Sale webpage on DEC's website. Some species sell out early, so it is recommended to place orders by phone for the most up-to-date availability information.

Free Seedlings Available for Youth Education Through the School Seedling Program
Applications are now being accepted for the nursery's School Seedling Program. From now until March 31, schools and youth education organizations across New York State may apply to receive up to 50 free tree or shrub seedlings to plant with their students.
All schools (public, private, nursery, elementary, secondary, vocational, college or university), homeschool groups, and any youth education-based organization may apply, provided trees are planted within New York State. Individual homeschools must apply through a homeschool group, co-op, or other association. Seedlings are two to three years old, about four to 12 inches tall, and bare-root. There are three packets available - 50 white spruce, 25 red oak, or 30 mixed shrub species good for wildlife habitat - and each school or organization may only receive one packet per year. Visit DEC's website for more information and to apply online. For assistance or questions, contact the Colonel William F. Fox Memorial Saratoga Tree Nursery at or 518-581-1439.

Local nurseries are a great option as well, such as Go Native! perrenials or other locations noted in the Habitat Gardening in CNY Native Plant Shopping Guide.

2023 Trees for Tribs Buffer in a Bag Program
DEC’s Trees for Tribs Buffer in a Bag program provides free tree and shrub seedlings for organizations and private landowners to create or improve stream buffers on their property. 
These mighty waterside plants start out small, but their impacts are huge:
  • They help reduce pollution from entering waterways.
  • They absorb rain during storms, which slows flooding.
  • Their roots hold soil in place, which prevents erosion.
  • The provide wildlife habitat both on land and in the water.
  • They provide shade, which cools water temperatures and protects native fish.
  • They absorb and store carbon dioxide, which helps combat climate change.
Learn more about the 2023 Buffer in a Bag program, application requirements, and the April 7 deadline on the DEC website.  
Copyright © 2023 Skaneateles Lake Association, All rights reserved.

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