Press

The Skaneateles Lake Milfoil Project
  • Sort Blog:
  • All
  • General News

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 

News from the SLA

COVID-19 Statistics                                                 Fran Rotunno Fish

In the early Spring, amid the pandemic and the necessary public health guidelines for personal safety and prevention, the Skaneateles Lake Association Board of Directors spent some days considering the appropriateness of continuing our Invasive Species Monitoring Steward Program at launch sites around the lake.  The Board considered that while an important part of our mission is to protect the Skaneateles Lake from the introduction of additional invasive species, we also had to be confident that we could protect our Stewards from exposure to COVID-19 19.

Under the direction of SLA Board Member, Buzz Roberts, a careful plan that including educating our Stewards on mask and distancing requirements, providing them with those masks and hand sanitizer and having sandwich board signs posted to ask those who came to launch to protect our Stewards by wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.  With that plan in place the Board determined, we could go forward with the program, but would pull back if there was any indication of a problem with the safety of our stewards who are high school and college students and adults from the watershed community and beyond.

None of us knew when we started the Stewards on Memorial Day weekend how important that decision to go forward with the program amid the pandemic would be

The pandemic and the public health guidelines for responsible behavior by our citizens made Skaneateles Lake a safe alternative to other options for getting out and about.  You know the old line, “if you build it, they will come”, but for our lake that line became “if it’s there and we can get on it, we will go there.”  Boat sales around the northeast went off the charts and people drove from more confined places in New York state and neighboring states to the NYS lakes and other bodies of water for some open space that was safe.

The statistics objectively tell the story of what happened here on Skaneateles Lake.  Our 16 Stewards under the direction of Head Steward Marty Minet inspected 9,952 watercraft that launched into Skaneateles Lake.   The number is almost double wat it was in prior years.   They also educated 21,254 boaters who came to launch regarding the NYS regulation requiring watercraft to be clean, drained and dry before launching into any NYS body of water.  But, the most important statistic was that 6.59% of the watercraft they inspected came to the launch site with organisms or debris on the watercraft or trailer.  That % in prior years has been 2 – 2.5%.  The SLA has written, spoken and shared via various media of the significant risk that new invasive species could be to Skaneateles Lake all of them with their own threats to the lake, but none more threatening than Hydrilla.  Our Stewards saved samples of the organic material from the watercraft and trailers for confirmation of type and while none were Hydrilla, there were others such as the round goby that were identified.  The increase in the % of watercraft coming to launch with organisms or debris also occurred in the 9 Finger Lakes where the Finger Lakes Institute manages Steward Programs. Overall, they had a 10% rate of watercraft coming to launch with organisms or debris on the watercraft or trailer.

The number of watercraft coming to launch into Skaneateles Lake was so increased that the SLA Steward Program had to expand its hours and days of coverage and pull Stewards who were not scheduled in on days when the DEC Launch site was so quickly filled that boaters were being sent early in the morning to the Town Boar Launch in Mandana.  Additionally, the Town of Scott launch became a very busy site.  This occurred over the early months of the season as those coming to the Skaneateles Lake from the south end of the state, Pennsylvania and beyond seemed to quickly learn that it was better to get into the Town of Scott launch site than travel further north and not be sure they could get into either the DEC or Town of Skaneateles launch sites

When the SLA Board made the decision to run the Steward Program this past summer, they were aware of two risks.  The risk for the lake water if we did not run it and the risk for our Stewards if we did run it.  Given the statistics reported above we know we made the right decision to run the Steward program this summer.  The entire SLA Board is pleased that the general public coming to launch were generally compliant with our request for social distancing to protect our Stewards and about 25% of them followed our request that they wear masks.  The Board is also very proud of our Stewards for carrying out their responsibilities during a very busy season while protecting themselves and others while doing so.  It would also appear that our Stewards were responsible to their communities at large both on and off the job as our last statistic to report is that no Steward became ill with COVID-19 19 or tested positive for it this summer.  Please join the SLA Board in saluting our Stewards, Roy Truswell. Julia Torrisi, Jim MacLachlan, James Murphy, JP Soderberg, Lili Winkelman, Robert (Bob) Deyo, Wendy MacLachlan, Meredith Wolanske, Lauren Place. Hope Cross-Jaya, Ella Callahan, Sage Crawford, Neil Minet and Brian Harkins, for a job well done and responsibly done:

You can join the Skaneateles Lake Association and help support our Invasive Species Monitoring Steward Program and all our efforts to keep Skaneateles Lake clear and its waters pure.  Call 315-558-3142 for a Member Registration Form to be mailed to you or join on line at SkaneatelesLake.org.

We thank the following for their sponsorship of a Steward for a day:  Michele Jenkins, Judith & Steven Zdep, Margaret & William Lee, Suzanne & David Nangle, Barbara & Robert Amsler, Suzanne & Scott McClurg, Cathy & Rick Fedrizzi, Merilly & Gerhart Heyer, Virginia & Jeffrey Stannard, Casmir Bobowski, Mary & Michael Hearn, Joanne Viggiano & Kenneth Cannon, Alison & Richard Conley, Lorraine Gudas, Bob Honold, Chris & Bob Latella, Locust Lane Association, Eri Loberfeld, Sharon & Fredrick Singler, Jennifer & David Campanile, Laura & Sean O’Keefe and an Anonymous Donor.

We thank the following for support of the David Lee Hardy Fund:  Charles Major, Jeffrey Stregiel, Jennifer & David Campanile, Judy & John Varney, Judith Pearsall, Leah & Thomas Valenti.

We thank the following for co-sponsoring the Milfoil Boat for a day:  Ann Hinchcliff, Patricia Orr, Paula White, Barbara Egtvedt, Judy & John Varney, Judy Pearsall, Leah & Thomas Valenti, Bartlett Tree Experts, Kathy & Kevin LaGrow, Rebecca Cohen & Brandan McGinn, Pam & Mike Odlum, Kate & Mott Pooley and an Anonymous Donor.

Source:  Skaneateles Press Observer 12/10/2020

News from the Skaneateles Lake Association

News from the Skaneateles Lake Association

Fall Stewardship                                                              Fran Rotunno Fish

The season for our Invasive Species Monitoring Stewards working to protect Skaneateles Lake from the introduction of additional invasive species and educating those who launch into the lake about what they need to do to protect the lake is over.  But the Fall season brings on a need for fall stewardship for Skaneateles Lake by everyone who lives in the Skaneateles Lake Watershed.

Being a fall steward of the lake may be different for watershed residents depending upon where they live, but there are things each of us can do in our fall stewardship of the Skaneateles Lake.

Beautiful as the fall leaves are and much as we might love watching the color change (or if you are still young or young at heart, jumping into piles of them) we need to contend with them in a way that protects the lake water.   Do not rake or blow them into the lake.  Do not rake or blow them into a tributary/watercourse that runs to the lake.  Do not rake or blow them into a roadside ditch that leads to the lake.  If you live in the village of Skaneateles where there is leaf pick up do not rake or blow them so close to the curb that they will end up in the street where they can then end up in the storm sewers that drain into the lake.  Leaves are great sources of phosphorus and, of course, we do not want to feed nutrients that contribute to harmful algal blooms into the lake.  What you can do is mulch or have your landscaper mulch them very well and leave them on the lawn.  You can also gather them into your driveway and mulch them very well which will reduce their volume significantly and turn them into a great source of “winter coats” for your plants.  Those finely mulched leaves will both protect your plantings and feed them – no chemicals involved!  Of course, there is always the option of putting them into a contained area for composting or bagging them and bringing them to your municipal facility.  There is generally no need to winter fertilize your lawn…if you or your landscaper want to do so, please reconsider and confirm that it is necessary.

There is still time to plant native perennials, shrubs and trees.  Remember that a full-grown deciduous tree can filter up to 300 gallons of water a year and a full-grown evergreen tree can filter thousands of gallons of water a year.  Being a fall steward of the lake is considering giving the lake some gifts of greenery and color that help to control erosion and water runoff.

The Skaneateles Lake Association has several documents and resources available to you electronically or in paper copy that can help you make decisions about plantings that are good for the lake.  Just go to SkaneatelesLake.org, click on the “contact us” tab and give us you name and number and we will call you promptly with resources that will be helpful.

For those of you who live on the waterfront, please move all of your equipment, furniture, “toys”, etc. as far away from the waterfront as you can.  Waves and winds are skilled waterfront thieves.  Even this summer a few wave, wind and rain events have “stolen” kayaks, sailboats, a section of a dock with railings and ladder attached, life jackets, a lawn chair and a deck board from a boat hoist.  While these things are a loss to the owner, such items out in the lake over the winter do not disappear and cam harm to people’s property and become a hazard to winter fisherman or boaters and swimmers when the lake “reopens” for business in the spring and summer.  It was difficult or impossible to find the owners of items “stolen” by the lake, reported to the SLA and placed on the SLA Lost and Found list on our website.  If you have items that you cannot, because of the terrain, move sufficiently distant from the shoreline, please secure them with tie downs and note you phone number or email on the item to facilitate their return.

If you have a mooring, remove your mooring buoy and attach a plastic bottle partially filled water sufficient to keep the bottle2 – 3 feet below the surface.  Leaving it above the water puts it at risk to ice which can pull the bottle off your mooring chain and leave your chain at the bottom of the lake and not easy to find or get to in the spring.  The ice can also pull the bottle and chain with mooring attached and move the position of the mooring to a “new” location.   It is also a good idea to be sure that your mooring chain is securely attached to the mooring itself.  This summer we had both a sailboat and a pontoon boat break away from their moorings.  The pontoon boat dragging its mooring buoy headed north on the lake with a potential for damaging other boats and docks on its way and the sailboat was grounded and damaged in a shallow area of the lake.

If you have a permanent dock check it is secured well to its footings and also check that the dock skirting, if any is also secure.  Again, more than once significant pieces of docking and skirting end up in the lake making them potentially dangerous to others and potentially damaging to the property of others.

Finally, you can be a STAR fall steward of Skaneateles Lake by jumping in and joining as an SLA member for 2020 TODAY.  Your membership will be effective for one full year from the date paid.  During the 4th quarter of each year, the SLA Board determines what funding it has for next year’s workplan.  Your 2020 membership paid now will have an impact on our plans.

We thank the following for sponsoring an Invasive Species Monitoring Steward:  Gwen Birchenough, Barbara & Richard Evans, Dorothy Krause.  We thank the following for their contributions to the David Lee Hardy Fund which also supports our Steward program:  Mary Beth & William Gleason and two anonymous donors.

We thank the following for co-sponsoring the Milfoil Boat for a them potentially day or more:  Jessica & Toby Millman, Mary Beth & William Gleason, Kris Tech Wire Company.

We thank the following for sponsoring the Milfoil Boar for a day or multiple days:  Amy & David Allyn, Chacea & Donald Sundman, Jackie & Steve Miron, Barbara & Craig Froelich, Katherine & Joseph Compagni, Nancy & Douglas McDowell, Kris Tech Wire Company, Pam & Doug Hamlin, Gary Dower, Donna & William Davis, Carrie Lazarus & Dave Birchenough, Ann & Jim Higbee, Virginai & Gary  Shanley, Nancy & Ted Norman, Lynn & Chris Kelly, Christine Larsen & Vincent Dopulos, Candace & John Marsellus, Elmer Richards & Sons, Susan & Curt Andersson, Marjorie & Kenneth Blanchard, Alexandra & Robert Nicklas and four anonymous donors.

Source:  Skaneateles Press Observer 10/29/2020

News from the Skaneateles Lake Association

Ongoing Milfoil Containment Project    Buzz Roberts & Fran Rotunno Fish

Many in our Skaneateles Lake community probably think that our Milfoil Containment Program begins in the late spring or early summer.  But actually, each year, the SLA program to contain the invasive weed, Eurasian Milfoil, begins in the fall.

During late August and early September, when weed growth is the highest, a pontoon boat specially equipped is utilized to survey the lake for large patches of milfoil in order to identify potential areas to be matted the following year. A side scan sonar is employed to identify the patches. Confirmation that these are truly milfoil is done with visual assessment and recorded by site location.  The sonar data and sit location data is then downloaded and sent to a company that analyses the information and a map of the areas identified is created.

The map of Skaneateles Lake with identified milfoil patches is then reviewed to determine the largest patches and also to determine which of those large patch areas can be matted.  While we always want to mat the largest patches as they are the largest source for further milfoil growth there are two other factors that weigh into the decision about what areas to mat.  The condition of the lake bottom has to be considered in determining if a potential area can be matted.  If the lake bottom has a deep layer of silt, we cannot mat the area.  It is not possible because our divers cannot work safely if they cannot see.  In areas where the lake bottom has deep silt, a dive’s foot placed on the bottom of the lake raises the silt with every step taken and they cannot see to safely do the work required to roll out the mats.  The process is not like the one you see on TV for new Empire carpeting where the cartoon character just flips the new carpet over the floor!  The second consideration that is part of the “where to place the matting” decision has to do with the slope of the lake bottom.  If the milfoil patch is located in an area of the lake where there is a significant slope to the bottom of the lake, the matting cannot be placed.  Even with rebar sewn into the mats every 6 feet, on a slope the mats can slip and move.  Not only will they not stay where placed, but they can also move enough to end up covering residents’ water intake pipes causing a problem with their water source and potentially damage to their water pumps.

After the areas to be matted are identified, the Milfoil Control effort moves into action in the spring of the following year.  Scuba divers are recruited and the 2 pontoon boats used and their motors are prepped for the season. By June the benthic (lake bottom) matting begins. With over 225 separate sections of matting making up the total 6 acres of matting, the Milfoil team selects the number and size of mats they need for each area to be matted and moves them by pontoon boat to each area to be matted.  The scuba divers roll out sections of the matts over designated Milfoil sites. These heavy matts have rebar metal rods sawn across them in sleeves placed at 6-foot intervals. The divers work in teams of four with 2 divers at a time in the lake, one pilot on the boat, and another one on the boat directing the operation, and in constant communication through headsets with the divers under the water.

Starting in August, the matts are rolled up with first down being rolled up first.   The team moves from site to site until all the mats are rolled up.  Then the work of picking up the rolled-up mats begins using a pontoon boat specially outfitted with a crane to lift the heavy mats onto the deck of the pontoon boat.  The mats are heavy when dry and, of course, heavier when wet.  Depending on the size of the mats they pick up mats until the pontoon boat is loaded and then the boat returns to the marina where the matts are lifted by crane to a truck and transported for winter storage.

Although complete eradication of Milfoil is not possible, this program prevents the takeover of Skaneateles Lake by this invasive macrophyte, which, left unchecked, would eventually cover a large surface area of the lake.:

We repeat the process every year and can expect to have to continue to do so to continue to contain expansion of the milfoil.  If you are out on the lake and see the milfoil team at work, give them a wave.  If you see the “diver down” marker, give them space.  The work the team does means they are cold even in their wet suits in the spring and hot in their wet suits as the summer progresses.

We thank the following for sponsoring the Milfoil Boat for a day or multiple days:  Sarah & Kevin Goode, Margaret O’Connell & Eric Allyn, Patience Brewster & Holly Gregg, John Osborne, Jessica & Patrick Daniel, Johanna & Gianfranco Frittelli, Lakeview Auto and Marine (Bob, Terry and Rachael DeWitt), Laurel Moranz & John Macallister, Victoria & Richard Meyer and an Anonymous Donor.

We thank the following for co-sponsoring the Milfoil Boar for a day or multiple days:  Patricia & William McAvoy, Deborah & Joseph Augustine, Eleanor & Ben Ware, Wendy Blewett, Robert, Congel, Joan & Michael Niswender, The Coppo Family, Nancy & Guy Easter, Julie & Joe Scuderi, Beth & Bob Filiczkowski, Elizabeth Downes & Patrick Doyle, Patience Brewster & Holly Gregg, Linda & Bruce Kenan, Mary Knepper & Susan Mark, Ann & William Lynn, Steve Mott, Lauren Moranz & John Macallister, Mary Pat & Dan Suits, Joseph McCaffrey, Kelly & Gregory Weaver, Barbara Kay & George Bristol, Lakeview Auto and Marine (Bob, Terry and Rachael DeWitt), Peg Kelly, Mary Jane & Gary Lowery, Nicole Way Allyn, Donna & Raymond Kurlak,

Source:  Skaneateles Press Observer 10/8/2020

Al’s Place….A Shelter for the SLA Stewards      

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fran Rotunno Fish

 

Alfred Coon was the Town of Scott Fuller Park Ranger when SLA President Paul Torris…i and SLA Board Member Buzz Roberts who is in charge of the SLA’s Invasive Species Monitoring Program first met at Fuller Park.  Al was quick to point out to Paul and Buzz that while it was great that we had Stewards at the Park help ensure that boats and trailers were not carrying any invasive species that we were missing a lot of boats.  He noted that our Steward came on duty at 8 am, but the fishing boats were arriving much earlier.

Paul and Buzz, noting that Al lived just about on top of Fuller Park were quick to ask Al if he would like to be one of our Stewards.  All agreed and became our first Senior Steward.  Al had long been a steward of the lake he loved; indeed, he was a guardian of the lake.  His commitment to his role as an Invasive Species Monitoring Steward came to set a standard for our high school and college students and lead to the SLA expanding our use of “senior” stewards

Al’s passing a year and a half ago was a loss to the SLA and our program, but his legacy of commitment to protecting the lake from invasive species and doing his job 100% set a standard that has had a lasting impact on all of our SLA Stewards and one that is shared as new Stewards join our program.

The SLA wanted to honor Al in a special way that would encourage the memory of him and his standard for performing his job and we were assisted with a generous donation from the Columbian Foundation which has funded other SLA purchases in the past.

The Fuller Park Launch in the Town of Scott had no shelter for our Stewards who are there rain or shine in both hot and cold weather.  There was no shelter for them in unpleasant weather and no place to store their supplies, rain gear, lunch, etc.

like the one at the NYS DEC Boar Launch in Skaneateles and the Board determined that it could be our tribute to Al Coon.

A beautiful black walnut sign was crafted by Tim Johnson, Environmental Scientist with Anchor QEA and Skaneateles resident, who is working with SLA’s Lake Ecology Team in helping to identify and design watershed restoration and remediation to better control nutrient runoff and prevent Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs).   The sign was crafted from wood from Tim’s family farm with the following inscription “Al’s Place.  In memory of Al Coon, Senior Steward Skaneateles Lake Association with generous funding from the Columbian Foundation.”

We unveiled the sign hanging on the shed on Tuesday, July 21.  We were pleased to have  Al’s wife, Nancy; Town Board Member, Andrew Fuller who donated the funds for the park and its maintenance; Columbian Foundation Board Members David Graham and Susan Cox and a group of Al’s friends and neighbors in attendance along with  SLA Board President Paul Torrisi and Board members Buzz Roberts and Fran Fish; SLA Executive director, Frank Moses, some of our SLA Stewards; and the sign’s creator,, Tim Johnson..

Right now residents of the Skaneateles Lake Watershed Community and all who benefit from the lake as a drinking water source, a place for recreation or a promotion of business can join us in honoring Al in several was:  become a member of the  SLA;  sponsor a Steward for a day in Al’s memory; and take our Lake Friendly Land Care Pledge and request a Lake Friendly Land Care sign on your property.

You can do all of these things online at SkaneatelesLake.org or call 315-558-3142 for assistance to do so.

We thank the following for supporting a Steward for a day:  Gwen Birchenough, Marvin & Patti Longley, John & Susan Solomon, David & Jacqueline Eng, Jayne Howard, James & Emily Johnson, Julie Abbot Kenan, Linda Ahern, Bill & Jane Cummings, Paul & Joy Charmandy, Margot McCormack, William & Sandra Nichols, Kristopher Scholl, Ian & Kary Raddant, James & Nancy Marquardt, David & Joyce Larrison, Gianfranco & Johanna Frittelli, Dennis & Ashby Longwell, John Macallister & Laurel Moranz, Bill & Jen Warning, James & Racquel Vlassis, Barbara Egtvedt, Bruce & Patti Texeira, Ann Hinchcliff, Ann Killian, John & Wendy Kopley, Robert & Christine Pierce, Cate & Sally, Neil & Alice Houser, and 2 Anonymous Donors.

We thank the following for contributions to the David Lee Hardy Fund which provides support to our Invasive Species Monitoring Stewards Program:  David &  Fagliarone, Gwen Birchenough, Jeffrey Stregiel, Clayton Theisen, Judd Seales, Christ & Cathi Pickney, John & Frances McNerney, Richard Lynch, Richard & Janice Wiles, Donald Babcock & Caroline Kaye, William & Sandra Nichols, Kristopher Scholl, Doug & Bev Smith, Janice Hardy, F. J. Estlinbaum Barge & Crane, Jim & Sharon O’Connell, Kimball Clark, Francine Devitt, John Macallister & Laurel Moranz, Robert Warfield, Patty Orr, Lois Exner, Jim & Patti Hertz, Chris Johnson & Jean Shook, Gregory Kenian & Mary Ellen Faughnan, Craig & Rhonda Richards, Paula White, Joseph & Catherine Compagni

Why He Joined!

                                                                                                                                        Fran Rotunno Fish

The best part of the volunteer job as the SLA Membership Chair is having the opportunity to talk with, email and read letters from members around the lake, across the country and even a few outside of the country. The stories that I hear often include complements for the SLA’s efforts to protect Skaneateles Lake and its watershed….always great to hear or read. But other stories in those conversations, emails and letters are also very special to hear or read about and they are the stories of why people joined. Those stories range from multigenerational life on the lake for some families down to the most basic reason….I drink the water. It does not take much attention to what is happening to water supplies to understand that being the reason for many people. That reason is born out in the number of members who DO NOT live on the waterfront or even have lake rights, but who do drink the water via the village water system.
This past week, however, I had a conversation with a new member that was very special. We received a new membership from a person who lives in another lake community. After checking out the various databases available, I found this person did not own property in any of the towns in the Skaneateles Lake watershed and was not in business in the area. Since he provided his phone number, I called him and after thanking him for joining I simply said “so tell me why did you join the SLA…you don’t live here, own property in the lake community or have a business here.” His response was simple….”I love the lake. I drive to Skaneateles just to walk around and look at the lake and I figure if I love it, then the right thing to do is to support organizations like the SLA.” WOW!
I have an envelope that I hand out at some events that has an SLA member registration form and a return envelope tucked into it, but the front of the envelope has this message: If you live on the lake; if you boat, swim, kayak, sail or paddle the lake; if you fish the lake, if you drink the lake water; if the lake draws customers to your business or if you just love the lake, shouldn’t you be a member of the Skaneateles Lake Association? This new member did not get one of those envelopes to encourage his membership, but he did understand the principle of the last statement on the front of the envelope….SUPPORT WHAT YOU LOVE. The Skaneateles Lake Association is the only not for profit organization whose ONLY focus is Skaneateles Lake and its watershed so I will repeat the message on the envelope. If you live on the lake; if you boat, swim, kayak, sail or paddle the lake; if you fish the lake, if you drink the lake water; if the lake draws customers to your business or if you just love the lake, shouldn’t you be a member of the Skaneateles Lake Association?
You can join the SLA online at SkaneatelesLake.org or you can call 315-558-3142 for a member registration form and return envelope to be sent to you. If you are already an SLA member you can contribute to the Legacy Fund for Skaneateles Lake and support our efforts to prevent future Harmful Algal Blooms by making a contribution to the Legacy Fund online at SkaneatelesLake.org or by mailing your check made out to the SLA (noting the memo line “Legacy Fund”) to P. O. Box 862 Skaneateles, NY 13152.
We thank the Columbian Foundation for the generous funding that will enable us to purchase and install a shed for our Invasive Species Monitoring Stewards who are on duty at the Town of Scott Boar Launch. This shed will provide them with protection form the elements and also provide them with safe storage of equipment supplies and personal gear.
We thank the following for sponsoring the Milfoil Boar for a day: Amelia Kaymen & Eric Yopes, Aster Weddings & Events, Margaret & Angelo Scopelianos, Lynn & Gardner McLean, Karen & Paul Black, Mr. & Mrs. Paul Leone. Karen & Paul Black, Jennifer & Mathew Carden.
We thank the following for co-sponsoring the Milfoil Boar for a day: Jessica & Douglas Fedderman, Siglinde Wikstrom, Paula & Edward Conan, Gina & Geoffrey Wickwire, Anonymous Donor.
We thank the following for sponsoring a Steward for a day: Julie Abbot-Kenan, Skaneateles Jewelry, Catherine & Steve Fedrizzi, Mary & Michael Hearn, Merily & Gerhard Heyer, Richard Evans.
We thank the following for their donations to the David Lee Hardy Fund that helps support our Steward Program: Mary Socci, Robert & Francine Torrisi, Patricia Worrel.

Fran Rotunno Fish

 

The best part of the volunteer job as the SLA Membership Chair is having the opportunity to talk with, email and read letters from members around the lake, across the country and even a few outside of the country. The stories that I hear often include complements for the SLA’s efforts to protect Skaneateles Lake and its watershed….always great to hear or read. But other stories in those conversations, emails and letters are also very special to hear or read about and they are the stories of why people joined. Those stories range from multigenerational life on the lake for some families down to the most basic reason….I drink the water. It does not take much attention to what is happening to water supplies to understand that being the reason for many people. That reason is born out in the number of members who DO NOT live on the waterfront or even have lake rights, but who do drink the water via the village water system.

This past week, however, I had a conversation with a new member that was very special. We received a new membership from a person who lives in another lake community. After checking out the various databases available, I found this person did not own property in any of the towns in the Skaneateles Lake watershed and was not in business in the area. Since he provided his phone number, I called him and after thanking him for joining I simply said “so tell me why did you join the SLA…you don’t live here, own property in the lake community or have a business here.” His response was simple….”I love the lake. I drive to Skaneateles just to walk around and look at the lake and I figure if I love it, then the right thing to do is to support organizations like the SLA.” WOW!

I have an envelope that I hand out at some events that has an SLA member registration form and a return envelope tucked into it, but the front of the envelope has this message: If you live on the lake; if you boat, swim, kayak, sail or paddle the lake; if you fish the lake, if you drink the lake water; if the lake draws customers to your business or if you just love the lake, shouldn’t you be a member of the Skaneateles Lake Association? This new member did not get one of those envelopes to encourage his membership, but he did understand the principle of the last statement on the front of the envelope….SUPPORT WHAT YOU LOVE. The Skaneateles Lake Association is the only not for profit organization whose ONLY focus is Skaneateles Lake and its watershed so I will repeat the message on the envelope.   If you live on the lake; if you boat, swim, kayak, sail or paddle the lake; if you fish the lake, if you drink the lake water; if the lake draws customers to your business or if you just love the lake, shouldn’t you be a member of the Skaneateles Lake Association?

You can join the SLA online at SkaneatelesLake.org or you can call 315-558-3142 for a member registration form and return envelope to be sent to you. If you are already an SLA member you can contribute to the Legacy Fund for Skaneateles Lake and support our efforts to prevent future Harmful Algal Blooms by making a contribution to the Legacy Fund online at SkaneatelesLake.org or by mailing your check made out to the SLA (noting the memo line “Legacy Fund”) to P. O. Box 862 Skaneateles, NY 13152.

We thank the Columbian Foundation for the generous funding that will enable us to purchase and install a shed for our Invasive Species Monitoring Stewards who are on duty at the Town of Scott Boar Launch. This shed will provide them with protection form the elements and also provide them with safe storage of equipment supplies and personal gear.

We thank the following for sponsoring the Milfoil Boar for a day: Amelia Kaymen & Eric Yopes, Aster Weddings & Events, Margaret & Angelo Scopelianos, Lynn & Gardner McLean, Karen & Paul Black, Mr. & Mrs. Paul Leone. Karen & Paul Black, Jennifer & Mathew Carden.

We thank the following for co-sponsoring the Milfoil Boar for a day: Jessica & Douglas Fedderman, Siglinde Wikstrom, Paula & Edward Conan, Gina & Geoffrey Wickwire, Anonymous Donor.

We thank the following for sponsoring a Steward for a day: Julie Abbot-Kenan, Skaneateles Jewelry, Catherine & Steve Fedrizzi, Mary & Michael Hearn, Merily & Gerhard Heyer, Richard Evans.

We thank the following for their donations to the David Lee Hardy Fund that helps support our Steward Program: Mary Socci, Robert & Francine Torrisi, Patricia Worrel.

Source:  Skaneateles Press Observer 12/19/19

Harmful Algal Blooms – the three C’s

William Dean, PhD, Robert Werner PhD, Fan Rotunno Fish

The emergence of HAB’s in Skaneateles Lake, a lake that has long been described as one of the most pristine bodies of water in the state, has an impact that is Critical, Complex and Costly to local residents as well as those depending on the lake for their water supply.

While the emergence of HABs on Skaneateles Lake has raised Critical safety concerns over water quality it will also have significant impacts on the watershed community as a whole. Its impact on many components of the lifeblood of the area is not only Complex, but also Costly to the watershed/lake community, the city of Syracuse, and Onondaga County.

The Skaneateles Lake Association, in collaboration and coordination with its many partners, has been intensively studying the lake and its tributaries for the past two years. The SLA’s Nutrient Management Committee, a team of SLA Board members, watershed community residents and governmental representatives with a broad range of science and technology backgrounds has been working on the HAB challenge.

An extensive study of the lake and watershed has been mounted to understand the chemical, physical and biological processes involved. The information obtained on tributary studies will be critical in identifying where to place remediation efforts. The data from the extensive study of the lake will be instrumental in understanding the complexities of the lake, its nutrient composition, complex ecology, and fluid dynamics. This data will be used to develop a watershed and lake model. These models will help identify areas that contribute to HAB development by supplying nutrients that HAB’s require.

To mount studies of this complexity and importance, the efforts must be coordinated and collaborative. Through the SLA’s Nutrient Management Committee, the SLA is working with the NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Town of Skaneateles, Onondaga County, City of Syracuse Water Dept, Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation District, Syracuse University, SUNY-ESF and many more. This integrated approach has been very focused, action oriented and beneficial.

Some examples of our coordinated activities studying the lake and its tributaries are outlined below. The data obtained from these studies will be analyzed to identify the factors contributing to HABs. The data will also be utilized to build Lake/Watershed Models which will further aid in identifying key targets for remediation and generating predictive “what if” models.

  1. Citizens State Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP): This is a DEC funded effort to monitor temperature profiles, nutrient levels, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll and a variety of other parameters at two lake sites, one north and one south. SLA Board members in private boats using DEC provided equipment take samples of lake water throughout the water column. Temperature, pH, conductivity and other physical parameters are measured and samples are processed and sent to the Upstate Freshwater Institute for chemical and biological analysis. This year sampling was coordinated with overhead satellite measurements in an effort to correlate conditions in the lake with satellite views of the lake.
  2. US Geological Survey Sonde: The US Geological Survey operates a sonde at the north CSLAP site which automatically makes physical measurements of water quality.
  3. DEC Transit Study: DEC is studying the biological content of waters off shore from multiple tributaries This project is designed to collect detailed temporal, vertical, and spatial data at multiple locations ranging from the open-water to nearshore. The information will be used to help understand the formation of HABS and cyanobacteria biomass in low/moderate nutrient lakes. In addition to determine the representativeness of the open water, long-term monitoring location compared to intensively monitoring, additional sites from this study.
  4. Sediment Study: The nutrient content of lake sediments is very high. These nutrients are potentially available to algae and HABs. This one-year Syracuse University study, funded by the SLA Legacy Fund, has taken 130 samples on 17 transects (from near shore to deeper waters) and will be analyzing the chemical composition and physical properties of the sediment. This information will help us understand the role sediments are playing in supporting algal growth.
  5. Zebra Mussel Program: DEC will initiate this state funded program in 2020. The purpose is to understand what role zebra mussels are playing in the occurrence of HAB’s. Studies on lakes in Michigan have suggested that in oligotrophic lakes such as Skaneateles Lake, mussels can facilitate algal blooms.
  6. Nutrient Loading studies:
    1. The town of Skaneateles has contracted with Upstate Freshwater Institute (UFI) over the past several years to monitor the 4 major tributaries flowing into the lake: Shotwell Brook, Grout Brook, Bear Swamp Creek, and Harold Brook. This monitoring has been extensively supported by the Legacy Fund as well. The resulting data collected will, when combined with other tributary and lake studies, aid in identifying key remediation sites.
    2. Nine minor tributaries are being monitored by Syracuse University. They are: 10 mile creek, 5 mile creek, Hardscrabble Brook, Withey Brook, 1 mile creek, Dowling Brook (2 sites), Fisher Brook, Bentley Brook and Glen Cove. They will be sampled on a regular basis under base flow conditions and during storm events. Sample collection is being done by a team of volunteers assembled by the SLA with collection of the samples coordinated by the SLA Executive Director.

 

  1. Atmospheric Loading: A significant fraction of the total nutrient loading to the lake occurs as a result of rain, snow and dust settling on the lake surface. The atmospheric contributions are being collected and analyzed by scientists and Syracuse University.
  2. Submergent Vegetation: The annual decomposition of submerged aquatic vegetation makes a contribution to the pool of available nutrients each year. Little is known, however, what the magnitude of this source is. Studies have been initiated in 2019 when samples of aquatic vegetation from around the lake were collected and analyzed for nutrient content.

All of these efforts are costly but they are producing critical data which will be utilized to build watershed and lake models. This data and resulting modeling efforts will be used to identify key areas of focus for remediation efforts. The remediation efforts, like the studies necessary to determine the causes of HABs are also Critical, Complex and Costly. The SLA with funding from the Legacy Fund for Skaneateles Lake has identified numerous smaller, but still costly remediation projects for early intervention as we anticipate NYS funds for the larger remediation projects that will be necessary.

The prevention of future HABs will depend on information from the studies being done and development of effective remediation, but prevention will also depend upon a watershed community of individuals committed to these efforts and each doing all that he/she can do to protect the lake. This includes every resident of the watershed community using effective landscaping practices (shoreline barrier planting to slow and control runoff into the lake, limitation of fertilizing to only what is indicated by soil testing, not clear cutting in the watershed and planting trees especially evergreens which are major filters of water). It also includes maintenance of septic systems and keeping roadside ditches clear of debris and yard waste and ensuring that they are not stripped to bare soil.   The Skaneateles Lake Association is available to provide access to resources to assist watershed residents in all of these areas. Use the “contact us” tab at SkaneatelesLake.org to request assistance or advice. Everyone in the watershed has a role in preventing HABs and we hope that each watershed resident will join the Skaneateles Lake Association to help support our efforts. You can join the SLA and donate to the Legacy Fund online at SkaneatelLake.org or call 315-685-9106 to request a Member Registration Form and return envelope.

Source  Press Observer 12/4/18

 

Wedding Bells that Rang for the Lake

Fran Rotunno Fish

Most of us who live in the Skaneateles Lake Community have seen more than one wedding photo shoot in progress in Cliff Park down by the lakefront. The lake is always the perfect background for the bridal party, the beautiful dresses, the men in formal attire and the flowers. It is just one of those special scenes in that occur on the lakefront.

But this week, the SLA mail rang with wedding bells. Well, not actual bells, but rather the joy of 24 weddings!

We received one check for $50.00 for EACH wedding that was held at Aster Weddings and Events. That was a lot of wedding bells ringing. That commitment of a $50.00 donation for each wedding was made by Shannon Pratten from Aster Weddings and Events last year and to date the SLA has received $1300 in donations from the weddings held there – 23 this year and 3 last year. We are so appreciative of Shannon for recognizing the importance of our beautiful lake and community as a drawing card for her event space.

We also received a membership and $500 donation to the Legacy Fund for Skaneateles Lake from a Abagail Duggan and Christopher Short who encouraged their wedding guests to make their wedding gifts be charitable donations to a few charities near and dear to the couple’s hearts. We are so very appreciative that Abagail and Christopher named the Skaneateles Lake Association as one of the charities. We have to believe that their guests’ opportunity to see the lake while here for the wedding helped them to make the SLA their selected charity.

We thank the following for sponsoring the Milfoil Boat for a day: Jeannie and Henry Slauson, The Slottje Family, John Osborne.

We thank Bev and Steve White for co-sponsoring the Milfoil Boat for a day.

We thank Casmir Bobowski, Laura & Sean O’Keefe, Charles Ryan & Eileen Murphy, Virginia & Jeffrey Stannard for sponsoring a Steward for a day.

We thank Anne & Charles Elroy for their support of the Hardy Fund.

During this third quarter of 2019, the SLA Board will be making important decisions about the efforts we can fund in 2020. Will we do more, the same or less to control Milfoil and protect the lake from invasive species? Will we be able to continue our efforts to conduct research and data collection to help identify the possible sources for the nutrient loading that cause Harmful Algal Blooms? Can we continue to plan for future mitigation projects to protect the lake as a source of drinking water, recreation and a driver of the area economy? Your annual SLA memberships and donations to the Legacy Fund for Skaneateles Lake will answer those questions. Please if you have received a notice that it is time to renew your annual membership, RENEW now and consider going beyond annual membership and making a donation to the Legacy Fund for Skaneateles Lake. You can renew and donate online at SkaneatelesLake.org or you call 315-685-9106 if you need a registration form and return envelope mailed to you

Source:  Skaneateles Press Observer

 

News from the Skaneateles Lake Association

Eyes on the Lake, Eyes on the Watershed      Fran Rotunno Fish

All season long SLA member, John MacAlister, has kept organized the 30 SLA members around the lake have served as volunteer Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) watchdogs. Keeping their eyes on the lake for suspicious looking water that could be or develop into a HAB they serve the lake community and beyond as they also served all who drink the lake water in the City of Syracuse and surrounding communities. In addition to these “official watchdogs” there were dozens of people in the lake community who also acted responsibly and reported water conditions of concern. These official volunteers and alert citizens were part of the effort that the SLA developed in response to the first HAB in 2017….an informed, participating community outreach citizen group. We all owe them a heartful thank you.

But, as we have all hopefully learned in the past 2 years, the protection of the lake water is dependent on the protection of the watershed. Thus, keeping watchful eyes on the watershed is very important to the health of the lake water. Various educational programs and printed materials that have been circulated and just plain common sense have resulted in our watershed community citizens keeping a watchful eye on the watershed and reporting to official agencies or to the SLA things that they observed that were of concern.

In the past few weeks two stories have come to the SLA that demonstrate the importance of having “eyes “on the watershed, as well as, eyes on the lake.

East side of the lake resident, Lois Exner, noted that a vendor doing some work on her property had obviously had a problem with some vehicle or equipment and she noted a large spill of what she suspected was some kind of oil on her property. The vendor covered it with some loose dirt that was available and drove off. She called them several times to attempt to get them to come back and take care of it properly….no response to her calls. Lois had her daughter email the SLA via the “contact us” tab on our website and we responded with a phone call and told her to call the DEC Emergency Spill line. She did and they called back in 10 minutes. With no response from the vendor and the threat of rain coming, the DEC came to the property, dug out the area and filled it in. Citizen alertness to the risk for the lake water, guidance from the SLA and a timely response from the DEC were the perfect combination of actions to protect the lake. The vendor will be fined and billed for the response. It would not have happened that way without an alert responsible citizen. Thank you, Lois Exner.

More recently, west side of the lake resident, Chris Legg, arrived home about 6:45 on a Wednesday evening and noted a collection of granular particles along a long stretch of the roadway and on the shoulder adjacent to the drainage ditch on the west side of the road. After seeing the extent of spill, Chris contact the City of Syracuse Water Department Emergency Line and notified the SLA via the “contact us” tab on our website. We contacted Bob Werner who lives in the area of the spill. Bob and Dave Laxton examined the granules and felt they were likely fertilizer but not pesticides. This visual determination by them was confirmed. The Skaneateles Lake Watershed Protection Program (SLWPP), the NYSDEC Spill Response on-call technician, Rich Abbot from the Syracuse Water Department and the Department of Transportation all coordinated in a timely manner and on the next morning a street sweeper was mobilized immediately to the spill area and the fertilizer was completely removed from the shoulder by 10:04 am, prior to the rain events. Again, an alert citizen, Chris Legg, and timely response from official agencies resulted in a timely, coordinated response that protected the lake.

Our official agencies all did a great job in both events of responding to “risk to the lake events” in the watershed. Our alert citizens with their eyes on the watershed enabled the response to be timely by making the calls to an official agency and notifying the SLA.

Please as you keep your eyes on the lake also keep your eyes on the watershed. If you see something, say something. If you do not know who to call or are reluctant to get involved for whatever reason, please inform us via the “contact us” tab on our website and we will get the issue of concern to the right agencies/agencies.

We thank the following for sponsoring the Milfoil Boar for a day: Katherine Cogswell & William Benson, Nancy & Ted Norman, Norma & David McCarthy, Jeannie & Henry Slauson, Greenfield Lane Association, Patrician Lynn & Steve Ford.

We thank the following for co-sponsoring the Milfoil Boar for a day or multiple days: Jacqueline & Charles Giancola, Ten Mile Point HOA, Bacon Hill HOA, Annette Otis & Dan Gaston, Kimberly & William Gilberti, Ann & David Lee, Stephen Legg, Suzanne & Davin Nagle, Diane & John Rizzo, Margaret Tourville, Kathleen & David Zapata, Leah & Thomas Valenti, Deborah & Jim Tifft, Lynne & Joseph Romano, Jane & Tom Hanley, Carla & David Goffe.

We thank the following for sponsoring an Invasive Species Monitoring Steward for a day: Jeannie & Kenneth Hutton, Deborah & Jim Tifft, Sandra Skiff & Doug Adams, Daisey & Michael Bongiovanni, Jen & Bill Mayo, Susan & James Soloman, Barbara & Robert Amsler, Kary & Ian Raddant, Kathleen & Chad Rogers, Paige Willard & Jane Phillips, Patricia Woodcock, Patty Weisse & George Thomas, Sharon & Fredrick Singler, Joanne Viggiano & Kenneth Cannon.

We thank the following for donations to the David Lee Hardy Fund which also supports our Invasive Species Monitoring Steward Program: Mary Beth & Jeff Carlberg, Sarah & Kristopher Kiefer, Pine Bluff HOA, Linda & Nicholas Rossi, Estlinbaum Barge & Crane, Mary Lou & Michael Cooper, Nancy & John Stenfeld, Nancy Peck.

Source:  Skaneateles Press Observer

 

 

 

News from the Skaneateles Lake Association

Fall Work for the SLA and Watershed Residents       Fran Rotunno Fish

The Fall Season is upon us.

The Milfoil Team is picking up the last of the 230 mats totaling 6 acres that have been deployed over large patches of Milfoil earlier this past summer. First mats down are the first to be rolled up and removed. So, at this point we are working on the last mats that went down. We need to leave them down for 6 – 8 weeks for effective control of the Milfoil. It is difficult work that needs a reasonably calm lake to be done.

We are also beginning the process of planning for next year. Bob Werner and Bill Dean have been out surveying the lake at depths where milfoil can grow. They do this with sonar equipment attached to Bob’s boat that records the vegetation as they pass over it. All the data is sent for analysis to a company that uses the GPS location of the boat and synchronizes the location with the underwater image so that we can locate the patches of milfoil. Once the patches are identified statistics on the size and depth of the patch are developed. The largest patches are prioritized to be matted in the following year. It is a process that takes a lot of time (and we need to note that is VOLUNTEER TIME) and again requires calm conditions on the lake to do the work.

Many of our Invasive Species Monitoring Stewards have gone back to school or college, but we have great senior stewards out there continuing their work to protect the lake from invasive species that are not just physically unattractive but also are potential risk factors in the development of harmful algal bloom.

Our entire SLA Board and its committees are continuing to investigate programs and techniques to prevent algal blooms and our committed community HAB monitoring volunteers are keeping their eyes on the lake, reporting and collecting specimens. We have had some smaller, but still ugly algal blooms, but thankfully as I write this no major ones that have not quickly dissipated. Lesson is clear – cyanobacteria are out there in the lake and just the right mixture of conditions of water condition, temperature, sunlight and nutrients can bring them to a head.

Along with all that we have been giving one on one advice and reference resources to individual residents for their specific problem or issues.

The Fall season also brings work for our watershed residents and we urge you to carryout a Fall workplan that helps to protect the lake water, your property and the property of other.

As you clean your yards whether on the waterfront or elsewhere in the watershed, please do not rake leaves or grass clippings into the lake, any tributary, or any roadside ditch. Large amounts of phosphorus are released from their decomposition….large amounts ….and raking or blowing them into the lake or any water that ends up in the lake adds to the nutrient load of the lake. Please mulch those leaves and grass clipping and mulch them well. Leave them on the lawn to promote its health instead of promoting disease in the lake. On our property we have so many leaves that we rake a good portion of them onto a tarp. Dump them on the driveway, mulch them like mad and then use them to put a “winter coat” on our plants. If you have a compost pile then you have another resource for reusing them. It takes a little effort on the part of all of us in the watershed to take care of the lake and its water. So be a guardian of the lake and take the effort.

The high-water level and the wind storm last week put many people out on the lake or calling neighbors (and calling the SLA) looking for the property they had lost to the lake. There were parts of docks, floats, kayaks, etc. loose on the lake and people out looking for them. Remember, your loose item on the lake is not just at risk to loss or damage, but other people’s property is at risk to damage from it. Please be sure to move all possible items far from the shoreline as both the winter and spring storms can be waterfront thieves. It is a good idea to put identification of some kind on anything that you leave out during the winter even if has always been secure in years past. If you have a mooring, consider removing the mooring buoy and sinking the chain part way.   If you do not do this, put some ID on the buoy and check to ensure the chain and buoy connection are secure.

The final part of the Fall workplan for the SLA Board of Directors is to look at our finances and plan what we can do in 2020. While this SLA Board is all volunteer, the SLA is a business that has all the expenses of any business. It also has the responsibility to only contract for work for which there are funds to pay for it. That means that the final part of the Fall workplan for all of our watershed residents is to ensure that you have paid your annual SLA dues for 2019. We simply cannot do what we do without you. In the next few weeks we will be sending reminders by email or letter to all whose annual dues are overdue.   Help us make that list smaller by joining today. You can join online at SkaneatelesLake.org or you can call 3125-558-3142 for a registration form.

Source:  Skaneateles Press Observer