Header image photography courtesy of Matt Champlin

Next Steps for the Nine Element Plan

SKANEATELES, NY – Please join the Skaneateles Lake community and other associated watershed stakeholders in a discussion about the Nine Element (9E) Plan for the lake virtually on June 22nd (details below).

As part of a response to the lake-wide 2017 Harmful Algal Bloom, the Skaneateles Lake Association (SLA) along with community partners took on a role in exploring next steps and was a catalyst in advancing the 9E planning process.

SLA invested over $60,000 to support initial data collection needed for the 9E Plan. The funds also acted as match to the Town of Skaneateles as the lead agency for the 9E Plan.

Additionally, in April of 2019, SLA leadership approved spending around $100,000 to support the continuation of the 9E Plan that would have been reimbursed by New York State. Fortunately, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon later announced that the county would cover the reimbursable costs, which allowed SLA to dedicate more funds to watershed improvement projects.

SLA, along with other lake community partners, continues to invest in improvement projects while the 9E Plan is being developed. An approved plan, anticipated in 2023, will ensure that Skaneateles Lake will be eligible to receive more state and federal funds in the future.

Please consider participating and thank you for your continued interest and support of Skaneateles Lake.

Skaneateles Watershed Plan 1st Public Meeting Announced

The first public meeting, with an in-person and a virtual option, is planned in June for the Skaneateles Lake Watershed Nine Element Plan.

In-Person Meeting: Wednesday, June 15, 6:30 p.m., at Lourdes Camp, Ten Mile Point Road, Skaneateles, NY

Virtual Meeting: Wednesday, June 22, 6:30 p.m., via Zoom: https://bit.ly/3vY9hPn
(Note: Pre-meeting registration is required to attend the Zoom meeting)

A Nine Element Watershed Management Plan is a plan that describes a community’s water quality concerns and provides a strategy to address those concerns. Nine Element Plans are developed in partnership with people who live, work, visit, and enjoy the watershed and its water resources, with guidance from state and local agencies.  The Town of Skaneateles has received funding from the New York State Department of State to develop this plan.
The Town will complete this plan with support from the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board (CNY RPDB) and in cooperation with a Watershed Advisory Committee, with three public meetings scheduled throughout the planning process. The plan will identify measures to improve and protect water quality throughout the entire watershed to sustain Skaneateles’ natural resources.
There are two options for this first public meeting, an in-person event on June 15th and a virtual event on June 22nd. The same material will be presented at both meetings, specifically: the Nine Element framework, the project schedule, and the draft vision and goals for the lake and watershed.

Public participation is vital to this process! Anyone with an interest in the future of Skaneateles Lake should plan on attending one of these meetings to learn more and to provide input on a vision and a set of goals for the lake and watershed.

This plan is being prepared using funding provided by the New York State Department of State under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund.

Seed money for the tributary sampling of Skaneateles Lake for the initiation of the 9 element plan was provided by the Skaneateles Lake Association.

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The Central New York Regional Planning & Development Board is a public agency that was established in 1966 by Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga and Oswego counties under the provisions of Article 12B of the New York State General Municipal Law.  The CNY RPDB is governed by a board of directors appointed by its five member counties. The agency provides a comprehensive range of services associated with the growth and development of communities in CNY with a focus on four key program areas including economic development, land use and transportation, environmental management, and regional information services.

For more information about the Central New York Regional Planning & Development Board, visit the CNY RPDB’s web site at https://www.cnyrpdb.org.

April 6, 2022 –  (photo – Fly Fishing on Skaneateles Lake) In preparation for March 1, 2022 City of Syracuse SPDES Application Public Hearing re: use of EarthTec algicide, the Skaneateles Lake Association submitted written comments opposing the permit approval. One main concern is adding more copper based products to the lake when copper levels are currently at unacceptable levels resulting in potential long-term impacts on aquatic life. 
EarthTec Updates
  • Public Hearing – held on March 1, 2022
  • Written Comment Deadline Extension Request – Due to public participation challenges associated with the public hearing, SLA requested an extension on the written comment deadline and received the following response from a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) representative as of March 21, 2022, “DEC will not be continuing the public comment period on the City of Syracuse’s SPDES permit application” No reasoning was provided at the time.
  • EarthTec Algicide Permit Decision Timeline – A decision on the permit application is expected on or before Friday, May 13, 2022. NYS DEC indicated a decision will be made re: whether or not to approve the EarthTec Algicide permit within 60 days of receiving the Public Hearing transcript from the City of Syracuse.  NYS DEC received the Public Hearing transcript from the City of Syracuse on March 14, 2022.
  • For more background  – including SLA’s latest letter of opposition submitted to the NYSDEC, please click HERE

L2R – Olivia Green & Jim Howe with The Nature Conservancy; Joanie Mahoney – SUNY-ESF President; Zach Maslyn – Skaneateles Country Club General Manager; Gian Dodici – US Fish & Wildlife Service; Tim Johnson- Anchor QEA Engineers; Dr. Paul Torrisi – SLA Board President – planting an Elderberry Bush



Skaneateles Lake Association in cooperation with the Skaneateles Country Club, The Nature Conservancy, US Fish & Wildlife Service, SUNY-ESF, and Anchor QEA Engineers celebrate stream enhancement project

October 19, 2021 – SKANEATELES, NY – The Skaneateles Lake Association (SLA) co-hosted a ceremonial planting event today with the Skaneateles Country Club (SCC) and project partners involved in making improvements to Dowling Creek, a tributary to Skaneateles Lake. The planting event was a celebration in supporting lake protection through the stream project that included The Nature Conservancy, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Anchor QEA Engineers, and SUNY-ESF. READ FULL PRESS RELEASE HERE

L2R – Brandy Neveldine – ESF; Dr. Dana Hall – SLA Watershed Improvement Project Development Chair; Dr. Don Leopold – ESF Restoration Science Center Co-Director; Dr. Neil Murphy – SLA Board Member; Joanie Mahoney – SUNY-ESF President discussing plants


Click HERE to Learn More and Take the Lake Friendly Land Care Pledge Today!

LEGACY FUND: Fighting Harmful Algal Blooms together

News from the Skaneateles Lake Association

First Responders Quick Responders          Fran Rotunno Fish

The response time of first responders can make a huge difference in the quality of the outcome.  We all know that from our own experiences or the experiences of family members or friends.

The Skaneateles Lake Association has long been a first responder for threats to Skaneateles Lake.  I will not go into a prolonged history but our responses to the threat of milfoil and harmful algal blooms (HABs) stand out.  Indeed, we have been the only responders to the threat of milfoil and continue to respond to it.  The lake wide harmful algal bloom of 2017 was confirmed from samples obtained first by SLA volunteer board members in response to a call of concern from an SLA member.  That sample, turned over to the Syracuse City Water Department was the keystone to the diagnosis and response to what became a lake wide HAB.

One of the most positive elements of a volunteer not for profit agency like the SLA is the ability to respond fairly quickly to the need for fulfilling its mission whether it involves initiating a new program, expanding an existing one or altering a schedule based upon the need for such.

The latter is exactly what the SLA did in regard to our Invasive Species Monitoring Steward Program early in April.  While we usually staff major launch sites with our Stewards toward the middle or end of May, our Board Member, Buzz Roberts, noted excessive traffic at the DEC Launch site in April   Due to the abundance of Wall Eye that had been introduced into the lake (that should not have happened) and were threatening the normal Skaneateles Lake fish population, the DEC took the limits off of the permitted Wall Eye fish catch.  The word got out, spread on social media and in early April, the DEC launch was filled with boats and trailers from near and far and some were clearly coming to launch that were carrying hitchhiking vegetation with them.  Seeing this, Buzz Roberts made the indicated schedule adjustment and the SLA quickly put the Steward Program into action to help reduce the risk of all those from near and far who were responding to the no catch Wall Eye limit from bringing invasives to Skaneateles Lake.  Our Stewards educated those who came about the NYS regulations for boats and trailers to be clean, drained and dry and assisted boaters to remove vegetation before launching

Responding quickly is so important to the outcome of the efforts of a first responder and, as a first responder for the Lake, that is exactly what the SLA did.  That type of timely adjustment of program in response to its mission is the hallmark of an effective not for profit.  The SLA’s mission driven efforts are only possible with the generous support of the community it serves.

Please thank the following SLA members whose sponsorship of an Invasive Species Monitoring Steward and support of the David Lee Hardy Fund in 2020 and/or 2021 enabled us to fund this important program in the past and please consider joining as a member and a support of this program in 2022:  Nancy Marquardt, Paul & Karen Black, Clarice Begemann  , Richard & Barbara Evans,, Skaneateles Garden Club, Nicholas & Cynthia Signorelli, The Kelly Family, Dennis & Ashley Longwell, Robert and Christine Pierce, Scott & Suzanne McClurg, Bob & Betsey Legg Madden, Eileen Murphy, Ann Hinchcliff, Kyle &  Liz Gebhardt, Chris Johnson & Jean Shook, Ed & Deborah Brennan, George Kenien & Mary Ellen Faughnan, Shadow Lawn Lake Association, John & Sharon Paddock, Mary Knepper & Susan Mark, Nick & Kate Hardy, Pine Bluff HOA, Dan & Jill Lang, Nicole Way, Liz Liddy, Mary Gardner, Mary Bradly, Judd Seales, Chris & Caitlin Fields, Dave & Paula Miller, L & C Winkelman, Joseph & Katherine Compagni, John Macallister & Laurel Moranz, Patrick Doyle & Elizabeth Downs, Walter & Kathleen Sullivan, Jason & Catherine Armijo, John & Maureen Barringer, Adam Gasurowski &  Claudia Kosty, The Jermy Family, Robert & Ann McKenty, Joseph & Alicia Salibra, Eloise Luchsinger,  David & Ann Lee, Karen Strods, Dickman Farms, Greenhouse & Gardens, Mary Sennett, F J Estlinbaum Barge & Crane, Christophe & Carrie Scholtz, Jack & Patty Reed, Angelo & Margaret Scopelianos, Jim & Patty Hertz, Janice Hardy, Dan & Kathleen Mezzalingua, Chad & Kathleen Rogers and multiple anonymous donors

Source:  Skaneateles Press Observer  6/8/2022

News from the Skaneateles Lake Association

                                Lake Economy                    Fran Rotunno Fish

That is no misprint.  Despite the fact that the Skaneateles Lake Association articles are often about the lake ecology, the subject of this article is Lake Economy.

The Skaneateles Lake Association has long benefited from the generosity of local businesses who recognize that the lake is a magnet for business.  Drawn to this community as full or part-time residents or here as visitors, they shop in local stores and enjoy the many and varied menus of our restaurants and residents (full and part time) employ contractors to build and remodel or trade professionals to maintain their homes and camps.  The lake is for many an economic engine.

Each year at the time of our Annual Meeting we have been able to showcase many of our restaurants, stores and venues with their generous donations of food and beverages.  The Sherwood Inn, Gilda’s, Lakeside Pub, Bluewater Grill, Johnny Angel’s, Doug’s Fish Fry, Joelle’s French Bistro, The Krebs, Valentines, The Bakery, Rosalie’s, The Mandana Inn, The Colonial Lodge, TOPS Market, Anyela’s, White Birch Vineyards and The Village Bottle Shop have over many years ensured we had the refreshments we needed.  When we opened our first office, Skaneateles Town Square stepped in to provide us with folding tables for our meetings and other events.  For years, the Skaneateles Marina has provided our Milfoil Control Program with moorings or slips for our milfoil work boats.  All of these businesses have positively affected the SLA’s bottom line saving us dollars because they recognize the SLA efforts to promote a clear lake with pure water affect their bottom line.  They are well aware that the lake is a significant part of their economy.

When you scan our membership rolls on our website for business listings you see many of these same names as members and you see others like McClurg Design Rebuild, Remodel Repair, Eggleston & Krenzer Architects, Inc., Finger Lakes Mechanical, Cayuga Tree Service, Bartlett Tree Experts, Ecoscape Design, Lake Country Construction & Contour, F J Estlinbaum Barge & Crane, The Sail Boar Shop, Tory’s 4 Season Services, Finger Lakes Realty, Lake & Village Realty, the Michael DeRosa Exchange and The Real Estate Agency, Via Mondo Travel & Wellness,  Finger Lakes Luxury Rentals, Community Bank NA, Cate & Sally, Roland’s, White and White Antiques and Interiors, Skan Threads Vermont Green Mountain Specialty Company, Aster Weddings and Events, Hobbit Hollow, The Mandana Barn, Joelle’s French Bistro, Twin Birch Dairy, Elmer Richards and Sons, Smiles  of Skaneateles and Skaneateles Psychology Associates,.

All of these businesses are savvy in recognizing that their customer base is enhanced by Skaneateles Lake and each understood the SLA’s role in keeping that lake one that would continue to attract customers.

This year has brought to the SLA some new and incredible stories of businesses taking the recognition of the SLA’s role in supporting their economy a step further.  Already a generous member, The Sail Boat Shop made a commitment to donate a portion of their sales of boat cleaning services to the SLA and we received their generous check in December.  A local realtor, The Real Estate Agency, recognizing the value of the lake in promoting property sales, made a commitment of a generous donation from every commission or referral commission and we received his first generous check in December, as well.  Skan Threads, a small business that provides online clothing sales with a Skaneateles theme committed to making a donation of the percentage of its sales to the SLA and we received two checks from that business in 2020.  Amber Weddings and Events for the 3rd year in a row donated $50 for every event they held this past year.  Finally, a startup website promoting information specifically for tourists coming to the Finger Lakes has made a donation commitment to the SLA.

On behalf of the entire watershed community of SLA members, the Board of Directors thanks every one of our business supporters for their recognition of Skaneateles Lake as an economic engine for them and their financial support of the efforts of the SLA to keep the Skaneateles Lake an economic engine supporting their businesses.

You can join in encouraging business support of the SLA’s efforts by thanking these businesses as you purchase their goods and services AND ALSO by copying this article from our website and sharing it with service professionals you use with a few words of encouragement for them to join in.

We thank the following members for their support of the Milfoil Boat: Chacea & Donald Sundman, Jennifer Sutherland, Nancy & Donald McDowell, Elizabeth & John McKinnell, Katherine Cogswell & Walter Benson, Harold & Jeanne Slauson, Jane Walsh & Christian Chavassieu, Gwen Birchenough, Gretchen & William Roberts, Sarah & Kevin Goode, Carolyn Legg & Charles O’Neil, Lynn Cleary & David Duggan, Sherill & David Ketchum, Helga & Henry Beck, Mary & Joseph Gaffney, Mary Ellen & Joe Hennigan, Anne Marie & Carl Gest, Deborah & Gary Hind, Salli & Jim Tuozzolo, Ronald & Tacie Anderson, Julie & Jim Moore, Mary Marshall.

We thank the following for co-sponsoring the Milfoil Boat: Nelli Ramsden & Kenneth Hyde, David Pittard, Mara & Mark Charlamb, Patricia & Ralph Troisi, Heather & David Wheat, Kristen & Mark Schwab.

We thank the following for contributions to the David Lee Hardy Fund:  Sandra & William Nichols, Leisyl & Brian Kleinberg, Jeanne & Kenneth Hutton.

You can join the Skaneateles Lake Association online at SkaneatelesLake.org or call 315-558-3142 for a Member Registration Form to be mailed to you.

Source:  Skaneateles Press Observer