Site photography courtesy of Matt Champlin

Potentially Harmful Algal Blooms

Submitted by Paul Torrisi, M.D.

Recently a few of us from the Skaneateles Lake Association (SLA) attended the regional meeting of all 11 Finger Lakes at Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y.

In addition to learning that we’re the only lake with an established lake wide Eurasian Milfoil Control Program paid for with annual dues and donations to SLA, it was clear that individual residents on other lakes are “on their own” paying substantial sums for annual cleanup on their own waterfronts! This is obviously a “helter skelter” situation with no long term benefit to their lakes, despite some representatives boasting larger dues paying memberships than SLA! Ours exceeded 700 in 2015, due to Fran Fish’s tremendous effort as Membership Chair – still only a MINORITY of those who live on the lake and in the watershed!!

We also have the most comprehensive and established Invasive Species Stewardship Program, under Dr. Buzz Robert’s direction. In fact, our Lake Steward Program serves as a regional model, and helped The Finger Lakes Institute secure over $500,000 from the DEC recently. This grant will be used to set up similar programs aimed at Invasive Species control and educating boaters on neighboring lakes, benefiting the entire region. This will ultimately help protect Skaneateles Lake by decreasing the transmission of invasive species to our lake!

Now to the subject at hand, i.e., potentially harmful algal blooms. We were also surprised to learn at this meeting of the Finger Lakes Regional Watershed Alliance (FLRWA) that Skaneateles Lake was one of the only lakes that, to date, has not reported any toxic blue-green algae blooms! These are actually caused by a type of bacteria known as cyanobacteria which can thrive and grow in more nutrient rich waters. They usually appear as various shades of blue-green, looking like pea soup or even spilled paint, thus the name. These blooms of cyanobacteria can occur any time of year, but most often during the warmer summer months. Some types produce toxins that can be very dangerous to both humans and animals.

Potential health effects range from skin rashes, allergic reactions, and gastrointestinal symptoms to liver damage, seizures and neurological impairment! If one sees such a bloom it should be reported to the county health department immediately, and assumed potentially toxic, avoiding direct contact.

Our neighbor, Owasco Lake, reported over 15 confirmed cyanobacteria blooms in 2015, leading to water use restrictions or even beach closures!

This is a potentially dangerously harmful situation that we would like to avoid, if possible. Please add your name annually to SLA’s list of dues paying members to help keep our waters clear and pure! Go to the website at SkaneatelesLake.org or mail dues/donations to SLA, PO Box 862, Skaneateles, and NY13152.

Source: Skaneateles Press

News from the Skaneateles Lake Association

In a few days our 6th year as the Skaneateles Lake Association will begin its efforts to keep the water of Skaneateles Lake Association clear and pure.

Our Milfoil Team is in place and the pontoon workboats are ready to go with the motors purchased last year with a grant from the Onondaga County Legislature. There are new banners on the boats, donated by one of our members. The banners will let everyone who sees the Milfoil work boats know what their purpose is and also encourage all those who see the boats out on the lake to join the SLA in order to support the efforts of the Milfoil Team. Our Milfoil work boats are moored without charge at the Skaneateles Marina again this season…a generous donation from the Marina.

The Invasive Species Monitoring Steward Team is ready to start work at the New York State, Town of Skaneateles and Town of Scott Launches on Memorial Day weekend. We are starting this year with five stewards. They are all seasoned stewards who also worked last year. Later in the summer we will add a few new stewards who are high school students who can continue to work when our college student stewards go back to college.   The Stewards have an even more important role this season. As in the past they will ensure that all watercraft and trailers are clean, dry and drained before launching into Skaneateles Lake, but they will also ensure that all who come to launch know that it is now NYS law that watercraft and trailers be free of all vegetable material before being launched into any NYS body of water. You will see our SLA Stewards, in their new khaki uniform shirts and caps, at the launch sites starting early in the morning when the fisherman start to arrive.

The Skaneateles Lake Association has finalized its plans for its annual meeting. The meeting will be held on Sunday, July 10th from 5 pm to 7 pm on the waterfront of the home of Elsa and Peter Soderberg at 118 E. Genesee Street. More details are available on our website at SkaneatelesLake.com.   The SLA Board has received commitment from a number of local establishments to donate the “treats” for the annual meeting and we will be reaching out to all our local food/restaurant vendors to join in.

The generosity of the member who donated the Milfoil boat banners, the Onondaga County Legislature, the Skaneateles Marina and our community food/restaurant vendors means that we are able to use our annual member registrations working to keep the waters of Skaneateles Lake clear and pure. Their generosity is important, but we can only continue our work with increased membership from all those who live on the lakefront, live in the lake community, enjoy the lake for recreation, have a business that thrives because of the lake and all those who just love the lake.

Memberships in the SLA are rolling and thus membership extends for 1 year from the date of the prior membership date. Because we have a rolling membership we send our annual renewal notices out in the early part of each quarter. But, members do not have to wait to get a renewal notice letter. To join at any time during the year, you can go to SkanaeatelesLake.org and click on the “Membership/Support” to join for the first time or rejoin for 2016. You can also call 315-685-9106 and ask for a member registration form to be sent to you.

On Wednesday, June 1, 2016 from 5 – 6:30 pm At the Skaneateles Library the Finger Lakes Land Trust, the Skaneateles Lake Association and the Skaneateles Festival are sponsoring an informative workshop on tax-advantaged ways to build charitable gifts into your financial plan. The workshop is being presented by John Hinchcliff, a Trusts & Estates Attorney at Miller Mayer. RSVP by May 30th by calling 607-275-9487 or on line at info@flt.org

In a few days our 6th year as the Skaneateles Lake Association will begin its efforts to keep the water of Skaneateles Lake Association clear and pure.

Our Milfoil Team is in place and the pontoon workboats are ready to go with the motors purchased last year with a grant from the Onondaga County Legislature. There are new banners on the boats, donated by one of our members. The banners will let everyone who sees the Milfoil work boats know what their purpose is and also encourage all those who see the boats out on the lake to join the SLA in order to support the efforts of the Milfoil Team. Our Milfoil work boats are moored without charge at the Skaneateles Marina again this season…a generous donation from the Marina.

The Invasive Species Monitoring Steward Team is ready to start work at the New York State, Town of Skaneateles and Town of Scott Launches on Memorial Day weekend. We are starting this year with five stewards. They are all seasoned stewards who also worked last year. Later in the summer we will add a few new stewards who are high school students who can continue to work when our college student stewards go back to college.   The Stewards have an even more important role this season. As in the past they will ensure that all watercraft and trailers are clean, dry and drained before launching into Skaneateles Lake, but they will also ensure that all who come to launch know that it is now NYS law that watercraft and trailers be free of all vegetable material before being launched into any NYS body of water. You will see our SLA Stewards, in their new khaki uniform shirts and caps, at the launch sites starting early in the morning when the fisherman start to arrive.

The Skaneateles Lake Association has finalized its plans for its annual meeting. The meeting will be held on Sunday, July 10th from 5 pm to 7 pm on the waterfront of the home of Elsa and Peter Soderberg at 118 E. Genesee Street. More details are available on our website at SkaneatelesLake.com.   The SLA Board has received commitment from a number of local establishments to donate the “treats” for the annual meeting and we will be reaching out to all our local food/restaurant vendors to join in.

The generosity of the member who donated the Milfoil boat banners, the Onondaga County Legislature, the Skaneateles Marina and our community food/restaurant vendors means that we are able to use our annual member registrations working to keep the waters of Skaneateles Lake clear and pure. Their generosity is important, but we can only continue our work with increased membership from all those who live on the lakefront, live in the lake community, enjoy the lake for recreation, have a business that thrives because of the lake and all those who just love the lake.

Memberships in the SLA are rolling and thus membership extends for 1 year from the date of the prior membership date. Because we have a rolling membership we send our annual renewal notices out in the early part of each quarter. But, members do not have to wait to get a renewal notice letter. To join at any time during the year, you can go to SkanaeatelesLake.org and click on the “Membership/Support” to join for the first time or rejoin for 2016. You can also call 315-685-9106 and ask for a member registration form to be sent to you.

On Wednesday, June 1, 2016 from 5 – 6:30 pm At the Skaneateles Library the Finger Lakes Land Trust, the Skaneateles Lake Association and the Skaneateles Festival are sponsoring an informative workshop on tax-advantaged ways to build charitable gifts into your financial plan. The workshop is being presented by John Hinchcliff, a Trusts & Estates Attorney at Miller Mayer. RSVP by May 30th by calling 607-275-9487 or on line at info@flt.org

Source:  Skaneateles Press