Site photography courtesy of Matt Champlin

News from the Skaneateles Lake Association

Happening Now and Soon      Fran Rotunno Fish

JEFFERSON PROJECT VERTICAL PROFILER.  Hopefully, you all read the article in last week’s Skaneateles Press about the vertical profiler that has been moored in Skaneateles Lake for the past few weeks by the Jefferson Project.  And hopefully, also, you read about the Skaneateles Lake Association’s initial outreach early this Spring to facilitate a working relationship with the Fund for Lake George and the Jefferson Project for the benefit of both Skaneateles Lake and Lake George.  If you have not read it, please do so.  If you did not get the paper or need a copy of the article, please request one from the SLA via the “contact us” tab at SkaneatelesLake.org.

FUND RAISING EVENT AT THE KREBS.  On September 12th, please join us for a fun filled evening with SLA guest bartenders, Paul Torrisi (Doctor of Drinks), Dave Birchenough (skilled at sailing/sliding them down the bar), and Debbie Bobbett (she can Stand Up [Paddle board] for the lake like nobody else) and more. They will be serving drinks from 6-8pm. All tips will benefit the Skaneateles Lake Association.

If you are curious about the state of our lake, want to donate, or want to know what we are doing to preserve and protect our lake, come! SLA Board Members will be available to share information about our current efforts and answer question.  Bring your friends who aren’t members, and we will encourage them to join the Skaneateles Lake Association.

MILFOIL CONTROL TEAM ACTIVITY.  The Milfoil Boar Team under the direction of John Menapace is in the process of picking up the 6 acres of matting put down on the largest patches of milfoil early the season.  First matting down is the first matting taken out.  Bob Werner and Bill Dean have finished the survey of the lake that is used to identify the location of further large patches of milfoil that will be included in the matting done next year.  The data collected will be analyzed and based upon the size of the areas of milfoil and their location being suitable for matting a plan will be made for next year. Please use caution if you see the Milfoil Boat in an area while you are out in your own watercraft as there are likely to be divers in and under the water.  Rolling these mats up is not as simple as rolling up a carpet in your living room.

EMAIL ADDRESSES.  When people fill out the SLA Annual Member Registration Form, they are asked to provide an email address.  Some do not do so because they are concerned about too many emails from too many people.  However, this last week with the recurrent Algal Bloom, as we worked to keep our membership and the community informed, there were people contacting the SLA to be added to our email list and some contacting us to update their emails.  In both cases these people had heard about our email updates and wanted to be kept informed also.  We, of course, add all who request to be added to our email list and, if not SLA members, we encourage then to join.

LOST AND FOUND ITEMS.  The Skaneateles Lake Association Website maintains a “lost and found site” to assist area residents with recovering or returning items that have broken away, broken off or just been left behind.  If you find something significant on the shoreline or recover it from the lake or lose something in the lake, use the “contact us” tab on our website and report your lost and found.  We will keep your identification confidential and help you get it back or return it.  Currently on our website we have five found items posted.  On Aug. 15th in the area of the Skaneateles Country Club a pair of red and black O’Brien Water Skis floating in the lake was picked up by a boating SLA member.   On August 31st an SLA member found what appears to be a sailboat rudder floating in the water about a quarter mile north of Lourdes Camp.  The fin is white fiberglass/composite with a wooden handle and an aluminum extension.  Finally, we have 3 items left at Lourdes Camp following our SLA Annual Meeting on 30th including a golf cap with a Renouvous Solar logo, a RAF Electronic Hardware water bottle, and a black Skaneateles Country Club Ladies Challenge Team blanket.  If any of these items are yours, please contact the SLA with your name and contact information via the “contact us” tab on our Website.  Thank you.

Please thank the following for co-supporting the Milfoil Boar for a day or multiple days:  Greenfield Lane Association, Lakeview Auto and Marine (Terry, Rachael and Bob DeWitt), Barb Conner and Doug Wood.

Please thank the following for sponsoring the Milfoil Boat for a day or multiple days:  Kitty and Tim O’Donnell, Sheila Hemami, Kristine and Jeffrey Bogart, Coffin Construction, LLC, Demitra Vounas, Ten Mile Point South HOA, Cindy and John Varney.

Please thank the following for sponsoring an Invasive Species Monitoring Steward for a day:  Ann Kilian, Marie and Joseph Grasso, Collen & Peter Dean, Sandra & William Nichols, Susan and Bill Anderson.

Please thank the following for their contributions to the David Lee Hardy Fund which supports our Invasive Species Monitoring Stewards:  Liz and Bill Sharp, Martha and Thomas Squires, Katie and Jason Armijo, Pine Bluff HOA.

 Source:  Skaneateles Press

 

 

 

News from the Skaneateles Lake Association

Skaneateles Lake gets help in fighting toxic algae — from a robot                         Glenn Coin

Vince Moriarty, a research scientist at IBM, works on a vertical profiler floating in about 60 feet of water in Skaneateles Lake. The profiler, installed in July, monitors conditions in the lake, including harmful algae blooms. Glenn Coin | gcoin@syracuse.com (Glenn Coin | gcoin@syracuse.com)

Skaneateles, N.Y. — A robotic buoy bristling with scientific instruments has joined the fight against toxic algae in Skaneateles Lake.

Scientists from IBM and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute installed the buoy, called a vertical profiler, on July 30. The algae quickly cooperated: A bloom that closed beaches and infiltrated water intake pipes started Aug. 4.

That wasn’t necessarily what researchers wanted, said Harry Kolar, an IBM researcher on the project.

“We didn’t have a whole lot of baseline data to work with,” he said.

The $170,000 profiler, built at RPI, is collecting plenty of data. It records everything from air and water temperature to water clarity to pigments produced by toxic algae, and it does it every 10 minutes, 24 hours a day. It’s called a vertical profiler because it measures all the way through the water column, from surface to bottom. It sits above about 60 feet of water just off the Skaneateles Country Club dock.

Scientists hope that by collecting enough data, and running it through complex modeling programs, they can predict when toxic algae blooms will appear.

“That’s the Holy Grail science and the community want to know: when and where is the next one,” said Rick Relyea, an RPI biology professor.

It’s an important question for Skaneateles Lake, the unfiltered drinking water source for about 200,000 residents of Central New York, including the city of Syracuse. Last year, a major algae bloom infiltrated the lake’s two intake pipes, and the city scrambled to add more chlorine to keep the algae toxins from getting into drinking water.

This year, Syracuse is conducting more tests. The brief, early August algae bloom showed low levels of the algae toxins, called microcystins, in the intake pipes for a couple of days. More recent tests have shown no microcystins, liver toxins that can sicken humans and kill dogs. (While algae is the common term, the blooms are actually a kind of bacteria known as cyanobacteria.)

The Skaneateles Lake pilot project is a spinoff from the much larger Jefferson Project on Lake George. That project, in its fifth year, deploys 51 sensor platforms with more than 500 individual sensors in the Lake George watershed. Eric Siy, director of The Fund for Lake George, one of the partners in the Jefferson Project, calls Lake George “the world’s smartest lake.”

Siy said the Lake George data has been used to study road salt infiltration, invasive species, and nutrients, including those that can fuel algae blooms.

Lake George has never had a reported harmful algae bloom – but then, Skaneateles Lake hadn’t either before last year.

“It’s clear it can happen anywhere,” said Relyea, who directs the Jefferson Project.

Relyea calls Skaneateles Lake and Lake George “sister lakes.” Both are long, narrow, deep, lakes with low levels of the nutrients that spur algae blooms, he said. The two are also among 12 selected as high priority water bodies in New York state’s $65 million toxic algae control program.

Skaneateles Lake is half as long as, and 128 feet deeper than, Lake George, but Skaneateles will be simpler lake to study and model, Relyea said. Lake George’s surface area is larger than Skaneateles’s, and it has a more varied lake bottom and numerous islands in the middle that alter wind and currents.

Skaneateles Lake, by contrast, “is like a long, skinny bathtub in a valley,” he said.

The Skaneateles Lake Association supports the new data collection program, said Executive Director Rachael DeWitt.

“We have a lot we can learn from them,” said DeWitt, who started Aug. 1, just in time for this year’s algae bloom. “The more data we obtain, the better.”

 

Source: Syracuse.com