Site photography courtesy of Matt Champlin

News From the Skaneateles Lake Association

Moving forward on SLA’s 4-part HAB Action Plan

Rachael DeWitt, SLA Executive Diretor

The Skaneateles Lake Association (SLA) is pleased to announce that through the Department of State’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, The Town of Skaneateles, with support from the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board, was approved for funding to complete a Nine-Element Plan for the Skaneateles Lake Watershed. The award totals $235,650. This is significant for the SLA’s HAB Action Plan.

The 9 Element or “9E” Plan will address nutrient loading and Harmful Algal Bloom control as well as identify measures to address water quality issues throughout the entire watershed to sustain Skaneateles’ natural resources and the primary drinking water source for City of Syracuse.

The completion of the 9E Plan will be critical in our ability to secure even larger grants going forward.

The Skaneateles Lake Association, in conjunction with the Town of Skaneateles and Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board, was instrumental in developing the application for this grant.

A 25% matching investment of $78,500 was required from the local community to receive the awarded grant. As an in-kind match, Skaneateles Lake Association invested $60,115, which was used in 2018 for vital tributary monitoring. The Town of Skaneateles also invested $18,435. These two additional investments bring the total project cost to $314,200.

SLA is excited to announce that our first step in creating the 9 Element Plan will be a public input period. Stay tuned for this in the near future. Mark Dengler and his team at Research & Marketing Strategies Inc. (RMS) out of Baldwinsville, NY are in the process of developing a public input survey about Skaneateles Lake and its watershed. Current watershed concerns, issues, as well as thoughts about how stakeholders envision the future of the lake and watershed will be captured in the survey. The results from this survey will be used by the Skaneateles Lake Association and the Watershed Advisory Committee to begin the strategic planning and visioning process that serves as part of 9 Element Plan. The survey is scheduled to launch in mid-January. Please keep an eye on our emails, website, press releases, and social media platforms for the official launch of the survey.

The SLA has already begun taking steps to develop the 9 Element Plan, and we look forward to seeing it through to completion.

We thank the following whose memberships and additional generous donations supported the Milfoil Boat for a day or multiple days:  The Bryce Family Foundation, the Columbian Foundation, Lynn & Gardner McLean, an Anonymous Donor.

The memberships and additional donations of the following individuals and businesses providing funding to co-sponsor the Milfoil Boat for a day:  Nicolena & Robert Errico, Mark Heffernan, Mary & Richard Kokosa, Erica & Ken Byrne, The Sherwood Inn, Mary Beth & William Gleason, Lynn & Charles Kelly, Kathleen & Ben Tarantino.

Our Stewards were sponsored for a day by the memberships and additional donations from:  Syracuse Crunch Hockey, Barbara & Richard Evans, Catherine & Steven Fedrizzi,

The following contributed to the David Lee Hardy Fund to support our Steward Program:  Erica & Ken Byrne, Camille & Thomas Potter.

With the announcement of the award of funding for the 9 Element Plan, everyone in the Skaneateles Lake Watershed Community owes a round of applause to our SLA Board and community members who comprise the Nutrient Management Committee and who spent hundreds of hours developing the application for the 9 Element Plan.  Your applause can be generated by joining the other (to date) 940 members of the SLA as a 2018 annual member.

If you have not yet joined the Skaneateles Lake Association this year, please do so now.  You can join at SkaneatelesLake.org or call 315-558-3142 and ask for a member registration form to be mailed.  We are within range of 1000 members for 2018 and your prompt action today can make that happen.  Our memberships are rolling and effective for 1 full year from the date paid. 

Source:  Skaneateles Press

News from the Skaneateles Lake Association


Jo-Anne Humphreys, The Nature Conservancy Finger Lakes WaterQuality Specialist, Ralph Fabiani, a volunteer, and Shannon Fabiani,Cornell Cooperative Extension Water and Ecology Specialist, pose for a photo with native plants that were used to construct the riparian buffer along the  shoreline of Skaneateles Lake

Trees for Tribs: Riparian Buffer Planting

Rachael DeWitt, Executive Director, Skaneateles Lake Association

Back in October the Skaneateles Lake Association, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Town of Skaneateles, and City of Syracuse hosted a Landscaping for Water Quality forum. At this forum, the audience learned how to landscape and garden their properties with water quality in mind. We had several excellent speakers present and many wonderful organizations/businesses table at this event to guide attendees on how to “shorescape” (landscape along the shore), garden with native plants, and educate the audience about New York State’s Nutrient Law. One of the major takeaways from this forum was the need for riparian buffers along streams and lake front property. Riparian Buffers stabilize banks, control erosion, slow runoff, and filter nutrients out of runoff before the water enters our tributaries and lake.

However, it is not enough just to talk about riparian buffers, they need to be constructed. As result of a partnership between Cornell Cooperative Extension Onondaga, the City of Syracuse, Onondaga Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Skaneateles Lake Association, on November 15th and 19th riparian buffer was constructed at a lakeside home. If you are a local, then you are well aware of the amount of snow that was present on both of these dates. The original planting date even had to be postponed due to all the snow. Dedicated volunteers, members, and employees of these organizations worked tirelessly in inhospitable conditions to get this project finished.

On November 15th the site was prepped, this process included sod removal, staking out planting locations, and going over the process of the project including site design to species selection. On November 19th, with the support of dedicated volunteers and two hospitable homeowners, over 150 riparian native grasses, native perennials, shrubs, and 1 tree were planted on November 15th.

The goal of this pilot project was to increase riparian buffers on private properties and reduce nonpoint source pollution to Skaneateles Lake through education and community based plantings. This is the first of several riparian buffers projects that will be constructed under the Trees for Tribs program. If you are interested having a riparian buffer constructed on your property, please email us at skanlakeassoc@att.net or email Shannon Fabiani at slf226@cornell.edu.

We’d like to extend a huge thank you to our project partners at Cornell Cooperative Extension (especially Shannon Fabiani), Onondaga County Soil and Water, White Oak Nursery, The Nature Conservancy, The City of Syracuse and all the volunteers for working tirelessly to protect our lake and for being a part of this service learning stewardship project. When the weather gets warmer, keep an eye out for future riparian buffer construction projects in our watershed. We hope you will consider volunteering and getting your hands dirty for the protection of our lake.

We thank the following individuals for sponsoring the Milfoil Boat for a day or multiple days: Karen & Paul Black,  Nancy & Ted Norman, David Graham, Linda & Dan Roche.

We thank the following individuals and organizations for co-sponsoring the Milfoil Boat for a day or multiple days: Leanne & David Willard, John Rizzo, Racquel & James Vlassis, Jack Rudnick, Skaneateles Rotary Foundation. Eileen Murphy & CJ Ryan.

Our steward program received special support from: Benjamin Lowery & Maura Swan, Susan Mark & Mary Knepper, Joyce & David Larrison.  Thank you to them.

We are grateful to those who continue to support the David Lee Hardy Fund established by his family to also support our steward program.  Thank you to MB & Jeff Bronk, Joseph Reagan, Joyce & David Larrison, and Lynda & John Parsons.

You cansupport the SLA and give applause to all of its volunteers by joining the SLAtoday!  You can join online atSkaneatelesLake.org or, better yet, save us the 3% PayPal or credit card feeand mail your check to the SLA (P. O. Box 862 Skaneateles, NY 13152) or call315-685-9106 and ask for a Member Registration Form and return envelope to bemailed to you.

Source:  Skaneateles Press