Saturday, May 24, 2008

OWLA is 20 years old this summer! (Part 1)

It really doesn't seem like it has been 20 years, but this summer marks the official aniversary of OWLA's incorporation. When I look back, it is amazing how much has happened and all the different improvements that we have seen in our Lake and Watershed.

Do you remember any of these? :

- a new state-of-the-art Moravia Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) , no more raw sewage overflows in the inlet!
- Community and Government efforts to get the same type of new STP in Groton (we haven't won this one quite yet, but some conditions have improved and we are still working on it!)
- a strict County Septic Inspection law and periodic septic inspections in the watershed.
- a volunteer water quality monitoring program (each summer) with support from the City of Auburn that is still active after 15 years!
- Development of an Owasco Lake State of the Lake Report and Owasco Lake Management Plan.
- OWLA started a 24 hour/7-day a week, water quality HOT LINE for the Owasco Lake watershed.
- A revived/active Water Quality Managment Agency in Cayuga County
- the proper clean-up of the old Smith Corona plant on the Owasco Inlet, Town of Groton.
- A full-time Owasco Lake Watershed Inspector
- Cooperation between Federal, State, and Local government all working to protect Owasco Lake (well..............most of the time).
- A new Sea Wall and complete overhaul of Emerson Park!
- A water quality monitoring buoy in Owasco Lake, sampling 24 hours a day!
- An ever improving Owasco Flats! (just the beginning!)
- too name just a few!

.... OWLA and its members have been leaders/facilitators in all of these efforts.

OWLA has been Instrumental in driving our elected officials into cooperative action. And it all got its start back in the late 1980's. A steering group was formed and Paul Lattimore was elected the first President of OWLA. Under Pauls' leadership and direction, things really started to happen.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where I will go into more detail on OWLA's founding fathers and our initial efforts.

Before I sign-off, If you have been one the people that have helped us get to where we are today - Please take a minute and pat yourself on the

Also Thanks to our government partners; City of Auburn, Cayuga County Health Dept., Cornell Coop. Ext. of CC, CC Planning Dept. CC Soil and Water Conservation District, CC WQMA, NYSDEC, and the watershed Towns. Also our many elected officials which are too numerous to name.

We have all enjoyed working together to effect REAL changes! It takes a community working together to make great things happen!

Happy Birthday OWLA!

-T (Lakeman)