Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Owasco Lake Day - A great success!

Thanks to everyone who came out to Emerson Park today to celebrate Owasco Lake and the anniversary of the Lake Association! I would estimate the crowd at just over 250 attendees. An exceptionally large turn out by our local officials was also greatly appreciated.

Also, a big Thank you! to Norma Leone and her committee that arranged this meeting and worked all the details to make it happen. Nice Job!

One of the evenings highlights was the unveiling of OWLA's action plan for Owasco Lake. President Joe Wasileski and the OWLA board have developed an action plan for the future of Owasco Lake.

OWLA ACTION PLAN - July 1, 2008

1. Aid and Assist the Groton Community in facilitating their STP expansion
Attend public hearings, give input in the SPEDES permit process, aid and partner with Groton in this endeavor
Encourage possible movement of the fish farm to a more advantageous site

2. Create an INTERMUNICIPAL Organization and agreement with all communities and agencies within the watershed
Cost sharing and expansion of steward programs
A coordinated approach of all communities and agencies within the watershed is necessary to assure best practices to protect the lake
Identify ecologically critical areas within water shed
Establish regional approach to rules and regulation within entire watershed

3. Permanently protect and preserve OWASCO FLATS
Fund land purchases and increase awareness of the tremendous importance of this area to our water.
Restore portions of land to their original wetland state to aid in nutrient deposition
Work with land owners to provide buffers to reduce sedimentation
Partner with Owasco Flats Nature Reserve and WQMA to aid in mission

4. Promote viable and safe AGRICULTURE within the watershed
Utilize buffers and wetlands to control runoff and endorse best nutrient management practices
Partner with farmers to buffer all existing tributaries within their acreages
Help obtain funding to aid farmers in these goals
Tour farms to obtain understanding and cooperation

5. Support the role and resources of the WATERSHED INSPECTOR
Instill a sense of stewardship in all people living within the watershed
Aid inspector in anyway possible through volunteerism
Aid steward in educating lake residents
Help expand and broaden the inspector programs

6. Create the OWASCO WATERSHED NETWORK (OWN) developed by IAGT
Foster the creation of partnerships between key Owasco Lake stakeholders and agencies
Share data and information with a prototype internet portal connecting websites, and develop an electronic newsletter on DVD format
Employ and evolve decision making capabilities utilizing this system

7. Educate everyone within the watershed of the enormous importance and potential of OWASCO LAKE
Inspire an awareness, understanding and appreciation for Owasco Lake and its watershed
Develop curriculum to be taught in grammar schools and high schools
Develop courses at CCC in Environmental Science targeting Owasco Lake utilizing their interactive auditorium (for use by all residents)
Speakers Bureau and outreach to community

8. MONITOR AND SUPPORT the management of invasive species
Identify areas that need weed harvesting (Robert Johnson – Cornell)
Study new methodology to eradicate weeds eg. (Skaneateles Lake Program), lake mats, natural predators
Obtain permanent funding to aid programs
Continue OWLA water testing program and ally with Finger
Lakes Institute and Dr. John Halfman in their programs

Please come to our next board meeting to help OWLA work as group to achieve these goals for our lake!

Also at todays meeting, Senator Mike Nozzolio was bestowed Honorary Memebership in OWLA after he announced a $125,000 grant to IAGT for use in developing new technologies to enhance Owasco Watershed Management.

Many others also spoke about various environmental issues as well as energy conservation in the Fingerlakes. All-in-all the meeting was a great success that we look forward to holding in future years!

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