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From the SLA: Moving ahead on our work plan for the season

The season thus far has given us some challenges with the weather, but we are pleased to be able to report some significant progress in our workplan for the season.

John Menapace put his giant sewing machine to work to complete the assembly of the additional acre of matting that we wanted to have. As a result, the Milfoil Team has put down 6 acres of matting over the larger milfoil patches identified in the Fall 2016 survey done by Bob Werner. The Milfoil Team used a second boat to deliver mats to the sites being addressed while the “dive boat” with its team was on site doing the work of putting the mats down.

Our 2017 annual membership campaign is in full force and we are pleased to see that we have registered about 50 “new to the SLA” annual memberships. There continue to be far too many who are not SLA annual members who significantly benefit from the lake as a value base for their lakefront or lake rights property, a source of recreation or rest, an attraction for a customer base for all types of business and services and, of course a source of drinking water. We plan to continue to reach out to those people and businesses. We are very pleased that following our annual meeting a few people stepped up to take on the responsibility for reaching to specified groups of potential members. Over the past few weeks we have sent reminders to those whose memberships were due to be renewed in the first half of the year who have not yet done so. Getting them onboard as annual members for 2017 could have a significant impact on our total membership and…… membership MATTERS. It is our major source of income for all that we plan to do and the size of our membership gives credence to both governmental agencies and potential grant funding source agencies from whom we seek funding for special projects.

A group of young people under the direction of our new board member, Debbie Bobbett, wanted to make the best of their summer and they stated a small business called “Live Love Lake” committing to donate their proceeds to the SLA. You might have seen them at their tent in front of the Packwood House on Community Days. They defined the SLA as “a group of people who help clean and preserve our beautiful lake” and they ask the community to imagine what the lake would look like without the SLA. These young people, like Erica and Ken Byrne, who have worked for years to help support the SLA, set a standard for all members of the lake community to follow…get involved, join in.

Many of our members make additional donations to specifically support specific aspects of our work plan. We are slowly working towards the financial stability where we are able to put the funds we collect in the 2nd half of the year towards the funding we will need the next year. This leaves us feeling secure to make plans for the following year knowing that we will have the funds to pay contracts and buy supplies and equipment.

Please thank the following members whose additional donations in 2016 funded our 2017 workplan as sponsors or co-sponsors of the two Milfoil Workboats.

 

Sponsors of a Milfoil Boat for a Day: The Allyn Foundation, Paul & Karen Black, Joseph & Katherine Compagni, John Coughlin, Craig & Barbara Froelich, Holy Gregg & Patience Brewster, Lindsay Groves, Thomas & Jane Hanley, Joe & Mary Ellen Hennigan, Peter & Jane Hueber, David & Sherill Ketchum, John & Kimberly Mezzalingua, John Macallister & Laurel Moranz, John & Elizabeth McKinnell, Gardner & Lynn McLean, Richard & Alexandra Nicklas, Ted & Nancy Norman, Dan & Linda Roche, Joseph & Lynn Romano, Carl Schram & Ellen Brown, Angelo & Margaret Scopelianos, Winding Way Association, Frank Suits, Donald & Chancea Sundman, Richard & Nancie Way, The Dwight D. Winkelman Foundation, Doug Wood & Barbara Conner.

 

Co-sponsors of the Milfoil Boat for a Day: Eric Allyn & Margaret O’Connell, John & Dawn Altmeyer, Joseph & Deborah Augustine, Peter & Annette Becker, Eugenia Brieva, Ken & Erica Byrne, William & Deborah Delaney, Anonymouus19, Thomas Eshelman, Bob & Beth Filczkcwski, Tom & Carol Fletcher, Joseph & Mary Gaffney, Paul & Jane Garrett, William & Marybeth Gleason, David & Carla Goffe, Tim & Illlyssa Green, Greenfield Lane Association, Lorraine Gudas, Dana & Susan Hall, Douglas & Pamela Hamlin, Brian & Maureen Harkins, Kenneth & Barbara Hearst, Philip & Judy Hider, Robert & Marcia Hunt, Bruce & Linda Kenan, Richard & Mary Kokosa, Richard & Shelly Kraetz, Chris & Karen Kreidler, Chris Lett & Nancy Thomas, Gary & Mary Jane Lowery, Ross Martin & Dr. Deborah Blazey-Martin, David & Norma McCarthy, William & Cynthia McCauley, Steve Mott, Randy Cobb & Jackie Brown, Patty Orr, Dan & Lisa Riordan, Doug & Judy Robertson, Kurt & Jill Russell, John & Marion Rotondo, Russell & Linda Ruthig, Charles Ryan & Eileen Murphy, Gerard & Virginia Shanley, The Sherwood Inn, Paul & Genevieve Suits, Ben & Kathleen Tarantino, Ten Mile Point South Cottage Homeowners Association, Cynthia Dietz Tracy, Ralph & Patricia Troisi, Jaime Tuozzolo, Gary & Ann Tyndall, Leah Valenti, John & Judy Varney, Dr. Robert Vitkus, Gregory & Kelly Weaver, Lawrence & Katharine Weiss, Westside Lake Association, David & Heather Wheat, Patricia Woodcock, Eric Yopes & Amelia Kaymen.

 

Source: Skaneateles Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is the impact of all of this heavy rain on Skaneateles Lake

by

Bob Werner

Skaneateles Lake Association

 

Over the last two weeks we have suffered some seriously heavy rainfall in the Skaneateles Lake watershed. The City of Syracuse gauges at the south end of the lake recorded 5.2 inches from June 30 to July 2 and 3.54 inches from July 13 to 15. During these rainy periods the rain fell heavily during a very short period of time, reaching nearly an inch of rainfall over approximately 20 minutes in one case. With the soil already saturated water poured down every stream and creek with great force eroding the stream banks and carrying silt, nutrients and debris into the lake. In addition, to that many cliffs along the shoreline broke loose and fell into the lake carrying more soil and rock with it.

 

What impact is this likely to have on Skaneateles Lake?

 

One obvious effect is the reduction in water clarity. Just days before the first storm the Skaneateles Lake Association measured water clarity in the middle of the lake using a Secchi disc. They were able to visually follow the disc down to about 30 feet before it disappeared from sight. This measurement was repeated 2 days after the first storm (July 1-2) and the reading had dropped to under 10 feet.   Two days later it had worked its way up to 13 feet. One thing that Skaneateles Lake is known for is the clarity of its water. It is not looking very clear now.

 

Once the silt settles out of the water, which it will do over the next few weeks, it provides a prime habitat for milfoil growth. Deltas are formed or enlarged at the mouths of streams. The accumulating silt is a perfect environment for fragments of milfoil that have broken off to settle, put out roots and grow into an established milfoil plant.

 

The third major effect is the addition of significant amounts of nutrients, particularly phosphorus and nitrogen washed in from the water shed. This will certainly stimulate plant growth in the lake, particularly algae. We can expect to see more algae than we have seen over the previous few summers.

 

Along with the nutrients washing in off of the watershed it is likely that dissolved organic material such as tannins and humic acids will be carried into the lake. Dissolved organic matter can act as a surfactant thus facilitating the formation of foam when the surface is agitated by wind or other factors.

 

One complicating factor that argues for a large impact is the timing of the rainfall. It has occurred relatively early in the growing season providing ample opportunity for algae and rooted aquatic plants to take advantage and increase their seasonal growth.

 

Given all of this it is clear that heavy rainfall and the accompanying erosion is not good for the lake.   We are likely to see increased algal growth, more patches of milfoil developing this summer and more foam forming over the course of the summer.

Source : Skaneateles Press 

 

 

SLA Looking for Additional Launch Stewards

 By Buzz Roberts

 

 

The SLA watercraft steward program is progressing well this summer. Our stewards, Elyse Dubois, Will Thomas, Griffin Dunn, Jeremy Castle, Sara Signorelli, Alex Frank, and Anna Denhoff, inspect boats entering Skaneateles Lake to ensure they are “Clean, Dry, and Drained” prior to launching. The stewards are present at the DEC state launch on West Lake Rd. 7 days a week and at the Mandana and town of Scott launches on weekends.

 

Twenty -four percent (24%) of boats entering the lake have been on a previous body of water. The concern is that they will bring in additional invasive species (we already have milfoil and zebra mussels). Hydrilla, now growing in 25 acres in Cayuga Lakes off the shore of Aurora, poses a threat. It is more prolific than milfoil and requires chemical treatment to remove it (now being done on Cayuga). Left unchecked, it can change the character of a body of water to a weed choked lake with extensive matting on the lake’s surface.

 

Because of the heavy use of the NYS DEC Boat Launch in the late summer and fall the SLA wants to extend our Steward coverage to include that period. We need additional Stewards in order to do so. If interested in one of these positions please go to the “contact us” tab of our website, SkaneatelesLake.org, and send us a message indicating your interest and contact information.

Source: Skaneateles Press

 

 

 

Skaneateles Lake Association’s annual meeting, fun and informative

By Paul Torrisi

This year, Bill and Janet Stinson were the hosts for the SLA Annual meeting at their spectacular home and barn in the highlands of Niles, with wonderful views of the lake. Plenty of delicious food and beverages donated by most of our local restaurants, stores and wineries was enjoyed by the hundreds of people enjoying the near perfect weather on a Sunday evening from 5-7PM on July 9th.

In addition to our gracious hosts, special thanks again to Fran Fish and her hard working committee of Mary Sennett, Bill Dean, Joe Grasso, Patty Orr and Deb Tifft for pulling this all together! During the gathering SLA Board members were available, along with Lake Stewards, the Dive team, and volunteer summer intern, Sam Clymer to discuss lake issues and answer questions that interested or concerned those SLA members in attendance.

The guest speaker this year was Aimee Clinkhammer who gave a brief talk on her role as the Watershed Coordinator for the newly created Finger Lakes Water Hub of the New York State DEC- a team working to bring people together to share expertise and find solutions necessary to protect our water quality on Skaneateles Lake and the entire Finger Lakes region. Aimee was well received and very informative. We look forward to continue working closely with her team!

A special feature this year was a series of posters produced by Mary Sennett, Bill Dean and Sam Clymer that were displayed and viewed by all at the gathering. They are included in this article. A few highlights to take special note of include:

On the “Expenditures” only 8% of the annual membership dues and donations to SLA go toward administrative costs. 92 % on every dollar received goes directly toward the programs to help keep the lake clear and pure because of total volunteer effort in the SLA!

Also, we’re very pleased to announce the recent award of a $27,000 grant from the Central NY Community Foundation that will enable our Lake Stewardship Program to become even more robust, expanding coverage at launch sites and creating more educational and communication programs about the potential harmful effects of invasive species in Skaneateles Lake. Thanks also to Supervisor Jim Lanning for acquiring a substantial grant from Onondaga County, allowing the Town to construct and implement a Boat Washing/Decontamination Station on town property adjacent to the Mandana Fire Station. Once up and functioning (hopefully this season) it will help supplement our Stewardship Program.

The SLA Milfoil Control Program is in its 11th year and has been very expensive with total costs approaching 2.5 million dollars! As the poster indicates “We’ll always have milfoil”, like any invasive that establishes a foothold in a lake such as ours (e.g. Zebra mussels). However, since 2012 we have been stable at 20-25 acres residual after each season’s work. An additional acre of benthic matting is being added to the current 5 acres owned by SLA and hopefully will help to knock back the annual residual even more. Bob Werner’s graph shows exponential growth starting in 2007 if the removal program had not been initiated with the number of patches reaching the “point of no return” in a few short years. What a recreational and economic impact that would have had on our CNY community, not to mention the effect on our drinking water quality!

Finally, our membership has grown to over 700 households the past few years but needs to increase so that SLA can continue to expand programs such as Lake Stewardship to prevent additional costly and potentially devastating infestation from new invasives such as hydrilla. Despite all the effort, note that the “pie chart” shows almost 68% of lakefront property owners don’t support SLA on an annual basis!!

This needs to improve. Talk up annual membership in SLA to friends and neighbors(go to SkaneatelesLake.org). Otherwise, we will not be able to sustain our efforts to keep Skaneateles Lake “clear and pure” for our children and grandchildren.

source: Skaneateles Press

News from the Skaneateles Lake Association

A New Year Begins

At the January 3d Board of Directors meeting of the Skaneateles Lake Association plans for our 7th year of efforts to keep the waters of Skaneateles Lake clear and pure were defined.

Our Milfoil control program is being expanded with the purchase and preparation of another acre of Benthic matting so that we can increase the number of Milfoil patches we are able to mat and keep smaller patches from getting larger.

Our Invasive Species Monitoring Steward Program will continue with Stewards being in place at the State Boat Launch daily and the Town of Skaneateles (Mandana) and Town of Scott boat launches on the weekends. We also will plan to have our Stewards in place if the launch at Glen Haven is improved with dredging and becomes more heavily used. We would like to plan to extend the period of coverage at the State Boat Launch through September. This would probably require looking for Stewards who are not students as so many of them become unavailable in late August. We are hoping we can find people in the community who would take on these temporary positions. Expanding the time period of coverage through September will also require more funding which can only be accomplished with more memberships. The State Boat Launch is heavily used by local, out of town and out of state boaters and it is essential that we protect the lake from invasive species that could be brought in from other bodies of water. As we stated previously, last year about 4% of the boats inspected by our Stewards came to the launch sited with plant or animal material on the watercraft or trailers….that is over 160 potential incidents of the introduction of other or additional invasive species into Skaneateles Lake. None of the plant or animal material removed was identified as being problematic but it only takes one.

The Board has set Sunday, July 9th for our 2017 annual meeting to be held in the “highlands” of Skaneateles Lake at the Niles property of Janet and Bill Stinson. The view of Skaneateles Lake from this property is the kind of view that inspires photographers and artists, but the view like so many of the views of the lake is a gift to anyone who has the opportunity to enjoy it. So mark your calendar today and plan to take the opportunity to enjoy the gift of this view on Sunday afternoon, July 9th from 5 – 7 pm.

Andy Zepp, Executive Director of the Finger Lakes Land Trust gave a presentation to the Board on the Land Trust’s s Regional Conservation Agenda emphasizing Ten Conservation Strategies for the Finger Lakes Region to save the lands and waters that sustain agriculture, tourism and quality of life in the Finger Lakes. He noted that the strategies specifically focus on Skaneateles Lake. The Conservation Agenda will require extensive funding which must come from governmental entities/agencies, as well as, private donations. The Board of Directors of the Skaneateles Lake Association voted to have the Skaneateles Lake Association, Inc. officially support endorse the Land Trust’s Regional Conservation Agenda.

Our 2016 Membership Campaign has come to an end and while we are pleased with a slight increase in membership from 704 in 2015 to 720 in 2016, we are disappointed in the several hundred of those who benefit from the quality of water in Skaneateles Lake and yet have never contributed to the efforts of the SLA. The first group of people on that list of non contributors that is so disappointing is the group of owners of property with lake frontage or lake rights. But in addition to that group, there are also far too many who benefit from the lake as a source of recreation with all kinds of watercraft, as a source of customers for local business and contractors and, of course, as a source of drinking water. We encourage anyone in this group to visit our website and learn more about what we do to protect the recreational and drinking water source provided by Skaneateles Lake. We ask owners of rental property, contactors and vendors of property services to consider the business generated by those who come to Skaneateles because they are drawn here by this beautiful lake. All of these groups of people need to ask themselves what would it mean if Skaneateles Lake were not the treasure it is and then go to our website at SkaneatelesLake.org, click on the “become a member” tab and join us in our efforts. If you do not have access to the Internet please call 315-685-9106 as and ask for a Member Registration Form to be

News from the Skaneateles Lake Association

It will take more (members) to do more!                           Fran Rotunno Fish

Milfoil Team Report: This past summer the Milfoil Team matted 5 acres of large milfoil patches. They also hand harvested small areas of milfoil around the patches and in other areas. The post season survey demonstrates good results, but smaller patches of milfoil are popping up. All milfoil anywhere in the lake has the potential for fragmenting and settling in to grow elsewhere in the lake.

Invasive Species Monitoring Steward Report: The SLS Stewards were on duty at the NYS Boat Launch daily and the Towns of Skaneateles and Scott launches and the Glen Haven Launch on weekends. They inspected over 4000 watercraft and trailers launching into the lake and 4% of those (160) came to the launch sites with plant or animal material on them that had to be removed. While none of the watercraft or trailers had the dreaded Hydrilla on them, it would only take one, launched when a Steward was not on duty, to bring Hydrilla to Skaneateles Lake. Please see July 25th 2015 article from the Skaneateles Press by Paul Torrisi on SkaneatelesLake.org under the News/Events Tab.

What the SLA Board would like to do in response to these two reports:

  1. Purchase the materials necessary (benthic matting and cable) to prepare an additional acre of matting to be used on the smaller patches of milfoil that are popping up. Cost – $10,000 – $15,000 – which equals 100 – 150 NEW members would be needed to cover the cost of just the purchase and preparation of the materials.
  2. Expand the hours and the season of days that Stewards are on duty. We are seeing many out of state boats being brought in by visitors, renters and those participating in fishing derbies. We have to have our Stewards on duty to ensure the watercraft and trailers brought to be launched are clean, drained and dry. Cost – $10,000 – which equals 100 NEW memberships.

If you are a waterfront owner, an owner with lake rights, keep a boat at a marina or club for use on the lake, if you kayak, paddle, canoe, or swim the lake, if your business has a customer base in people who come to/live in Skaneateles because of the lake or if you drink the lake water and you have not been an annual member of the SLA or have never been a member, now is the time to JOIN for 2016 and enable us to do more in 2017.

You can join the Skaneateles Lake Association online at SkaneatelesLake.com or call 315-685-9106 and ask for a registration form to be mailed to you.

Source: Skaneateles Press