Education and Public Awareness
The Skaneateles Lake Association (SLA) publishes a newsletter that is distributed to every member of the lake community and every person who has ever joined the association or donated to its predecessor organizations. The newsletter includes articles about the state of the lake and its water, the actions we are taking to deal with threats to our lake and the progress we are making. It also includes stories that highlight life on the lake and in the lake community as assets that are founded in or enhanced by the clear, pure waters of Skaneateles Lake.
The SLA also frequently provides a guest column for our local newspapers to keep the community very current with our program and our progress and give recognition to those whose special donations make a difference in what we can do. On occasion the SLA has used newspaper advertising as a vehicle for providing public education and increasing public awareness of the role of the SLA in protecting the lake and its watershed and, of course, the requirement for funds for membership fees and additional donations to continue its work.
The Skaneateles Lake Association website (SkaneatelesLake.org) that you are now visiting provides in-depth information, photos and videos that all members of the community and all those who love the lake can use to keep up with what we are concerned about, what we doing and the progress we are making. It is also a mechanism for anyone to contact us with questions or concerns about the lake or watershed and any threats to it.
In 2013 and 2014 the SLA held “annual meeting” events that enabled our members to hear directly from members of the SLA Board of Directors about the current state of the lake, current information about potential threats and a report of the programs the SLA has been conducting including Milfoil Control and the Invasive Species Monitoring Steward program.
The members of the Board of the Skaneateles Lake Association are out in the community and at lakefront association meetings sharing our message and program and asking for membership support in public and private interactions.
Our commitment to public education and awareness in regard to the state of the lake and watershed and any potential threats to it is a major component of the SLA. Our ability to continue these efforts is dependent on a large, consistent (annual) membership across all 5 townships that comprise the Skaneateles Lake community.
A variety of exotic species have invaded Skaneateles Lake in recent years, including VHS (Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia), a serious viral disease of fish and Eurasian watermilfoil. While Eurasian watermilfoil has been the focus of our efforts for more than 8 years, we know that other invasive plants and animals present in surrounding waters present additional threats to our lake and its water. The efforts of the Skaneateles Lake Association to control milfoil and prevent the introduction of other invasive plants and animals into Skaneateles Lake have been both extensive and expensive. Only the generosity of our members through their annual membership fees and additional donations has allowed us to initiate and continue the programs. Please click here [Milfoil Project] [Stewardship] to learn all about the threat of Milfoil and other invasive plants and animals and our efforts and progress in controlling Milfoil and preventing the introduction of other invasive plants and animals into Skaneateles Lake.
Protecting Skaneateles Lake through Effective Watershed Management
The Skaneateles Lake Association (SLA) knows that the majority of troubling materials entering the lake come from the watershed, including silt, nutrients and pesticides. Reducing the levels of such materials in the lake requires careful management of the watershed. Management of the Skaneateles Lake Watershed is carried out under the regulations (comprehensive plan and zoning) of the governments of the five Skaneateles Lake towns and the City of Syracuse Water Department and its contract with the Cornell Cooperative Extension.
The SLA is a voice for the protection of our lake, its water and the watershed with local governing boards and various committees and forums. The SLA efforts focus on ensuring that regulations and comprehensive watershed management plans reflect current science and the potential impact of current threats and that the management of the watershed remains vigilant.
The strength of the voice of the Skaneateles Lake Association in this supportive role lies in the size of its annual membership both totally and in each of the five Skaneateles Lake Townships.