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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

 

News from the Skaneateles Lake Association

The end of a season is the beginning of the next                                    Fran Rotunno Fish

The Milfoil Team has finished up the work of rolling up and picking up 5 acres of matting that were put down this year. The good news is that the mats remain in good condition and are able to be reused again next year. The work plan for the summer was facilitated by great weather for the Milfoil Team with warm weather and few stormy, windy or rough water days. Their work continues now with getting the boats and equipment cleaned, winterized and any necessary repairs made.

This week we have received a notice of the presence of Hydrilla in the south end of Cayuga Lake. This rapidly growing invasive vegetation is one we absolutely do not want to find its way into Skaneateles Lake. While we continue to have our Invasive Species Monitoring Stewards on duty at the State Boar Launch on weekends for another week or so, our funding does not allow us to continue them 7 days a week or continue them at other launches. Our signs are up at each launch and we hope they will be effective at getting everyone who comes to launch to stop and before launching and sure their watercraft and trailer are clean, drained and dry of all animal and vegetable material and mud. Of course, even better, it would be great if all would learn to take the time to do so before they come to launch.

Many or our readers are beginning to get the exterior of their homes ready for the winter season. It is time to “batten down the hatches”. That is even more important for any of those whose “back yard” is the lake front. We should not be fooled into thinking the low lake level means we do not have to move things off the shore line and secure them from movement back to the shore (or the lake) by wind and rain or wave action. We have already had a “contact us” message this week about a raft that broke away and a request for any help we could give in locating it. It is wise to identify your ownership of any items you leave in the lake (e. g. mooring buoys) or equipment that you leave anywhere that the lake waters or wind could “reclaim” them to the lake. Good neighbors will generally get things back to you, but some identification helps to ensure that. We still have “Alex” as we have named him, a black metal silhouette of a dog on a spike with a spring who bounces around our “beach” and helps keep the geese away.   We put him on the “lost and found” section of our website 3 years ago, but no one has claimed him. He does not eat much, does not have to be cleaned up after, and does a pretty good job and we would miss him, but still if someone claims him we are happy to return him.

Please thank the following persons whose additional donations have supported the Milfoil Boat: 9/12/16 Karen & Paul Black (2015 donation), 9/13/16 Greenfield Lane Association (2015 donation), 9/14/16 Deborah & William Delaney (2015 donation), Cate and Sally, Janet & Donald Frank, 9/15/16 Annette & Peter Becker (2015 donation), Mary & Paul Torrisi, William & Barbara Dean, George Ann & Edwin Bock, 9/16/16 Jackie & Steve Miron

Please thank the following persons whose additional donations have supported the Invasive Species Monitoring Stewards: 7/20/16 Deb & Jim Tifft, 7/21/16 Mary & Michal Hearn, 7/22/16 Jeanne & Kenneth Hutton, 7/23/16 Darcy & Douglas Sedgwick, 7/24/16 Susan & James Solomon, 7/25/16 Virginia & Jeffrey Stannard, 7/26/16 – 7/29/16 Donations to the Hardy Fund made by an Anonymous Donor, Kristopher Scholl, Jennifer & Bill Mayo, Ellie & Chet Benoit, Robert J. Congel.

There are a number of additional individuals have made donations this year to support the work of the Milfoil Boat and Team. Those donations will be funding our early operations in 2017. In order to be fiscally responsible we must have those funds on hand in order to contract for the work we will do next year. The donations of these individuals will be specifically noted in our columns in the summer of 2017.

Please join us for 2016 at SkaneatelesLake.org or call 315-685-9106 and we will mail you a 2016 member registration form.

Source: Skaneateles Press

 

 

News from the Skaneateles Lake Association

The Beautiful Lake and Quality of the Water ….the tagline for many, many rentals.       Fran Rotunno Fish

We have started to get a variety of inquiries on our “contact us” tab on our website, SkaneatelesLake.org. Some are from those who want to tell us about weed location that they think is milfoil or have concerns about something someone has done on lakefront property that “is not good” for the lake. Early in the spring we get inquiries from young people looking for employment as Lake Stewards. Some of the inquiries are quite unique including one from a young woman whose grandmother was listing her property for sale and wanted to know if the SLA could provide confirmation that the property included lake rights. We follow up on all the inquiries including in one case finding a job for a young man for whom we had no Steward position, but we did know landscaper who needed help. But, the most telling inquiry came to us recently from a woman who had rented a place for a week on the lake and contacted the SLA via the website to find out if it was safe for her children to swim in the water…did we have blue-green algae?

That inquiry prompted me to do some research on the various Skaneateles vacation rental sites on line. I knew there were many, but I was a bit surprised to find out how many. I reviewed many of them and was not surprised to note that each included the fact that the property was on or near “beautiful Skaneateles Lake” or the ad spoke to property being on or near the “clear beautiful water of Skaneateles Lake”. I recognized some of the properties and know they are beautiful, but certainly from the photos I could see they all had a certain charm and all of them sold “Skaneateles Lake” as part of what the experience of renting the property would include. I was pleased to recognize that a few of the properties are owned by those who are annual members of the Skaneateles Lake Association, but certainly not all of them.

It seems that if a property owner recognizes and advertises beautiful Skaneateles Lake and its clear water as a major amenity of a property, that that every one of those owners would see being an annual member of the SLA as a small cost of doing business.

As the Board of Directors of the SLA begins to develop our work plan for next year (matting and hand harvesting milfoil and maintaining Stewards at the major launch sites) that planning is done in consideration of the monies we have to fund the work plan. We look to all who live on the lake or have lake rights; all who generate income from property because of the amenity of lake frontage, lake access or just being in the lake community; all who use the lake for recreation; all whose businesses thrive because people come to this lake community to live, rent or just visit for the day; and all who love the lake to be annual members of the Skaneateles Lake Association. You can join the SLA at SkaneatelesLake.org or by calling 315-685-9106 and asking for a member registration form to be mailed to you.

Please thank the following persons whose additional donations have supported the Milfoil Boat: 8/22 Marie and Joseph Grasso, Anna Marie and Carl Gerst, Ann Hinchcliff, Julie & Joe Scuderi; 8/23 Elsa & Peter Soderberg; 8/24 Deborah & Gary Hind; 8/25 Margaret Tourville, Debra Hurley & Ira Goldberg; 8/26 Kimball & James Kraus; 8/29 Cookie & Jack Helmer, Helen & Keith Simonelli; 8/30 Julie and James Moore; 8/31 Anonymous, Shadowlawn Lake Corporation, Patricia & David Stone; Mary Marshall; 9/1 Carrie Lazarus & Dave Birchenough; 9/2 Salli & Jim Tuozzolo; 9/6 Maggie & Ed Dienst; 9/7 Barbara & Myron Egtvedt, Deborah & Marty Hubbard, Jill & Todd Marshall, Norma & David McCarthy; 9/8 Jerry Gebo & Bill Rosenthal; 9/9 Carol & Alex Protasiewicz, Barbara Benedict & Duncan Wormer, Elet & John Callahan, Mandana Barn (Heather & Tim Carroll.

Source: Skaneateles Press