Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hydro-fracking - Last call for proposed regulation comments!

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released the draft supplement to the Generic Environmental Impact Statement for Oil and Gas Drilling in New York State on September 30 of this year. These proposed guidelines specifically identify procedures for high volume hydro-fracking shale formations, including the Marcellus formation. There is quite a bit of debate on the potential water quality and infrastructure impacts of drilling into the Marcellus Shale formations. These proposed regulations will have significant impacts on how oil and gas exploration will be handled in the Finger Lakes watersheds. There are many properties that already have signed exploration leases in the Owasco Lake Watershed.

Please become informed and send your comments to the DEC and your elected officials.

All comments on the proposed regulations are due by the end of the day 12/31/09.

Information from the NYS DEC on the DSGEIS:

Information on CCE’s Hydro-fracking campaign:

See our earlier blog on this important topic:

Submit comments to the DEC:

Please call or write:

Monday, December 28, 2009

Asian Carp threaten the Great Lakes and potentially the Finger Lakes

Several states and concerned citizen groups are seeking help from the Federal Government to stop the migration of this invasive species into the Great Lakes and waterways of the North East. Various mid-west states have already initiated law suits seeking blockage of infected waterways that connect with the Great lakes.

This is a threat that we also need to be very conscious of in the Finger Lakes. We encourage you to become more informed on the issue and urge our representatives in Washington to support controls on this serious threat to Upstate NY's fisheries.

Description of the Threat from the Great Lakes Fishery Commission:

Asian carp are a significant threat to the Great Lakes because of their size, fecundity, and ability to consume large amounts of food. Asian carp can grow to 100 pounds and up to four feet. They are well-suited to the cold water climate of the Great Lakes region, which is similar to their native Eastern Hemisphere habitats. It is expected that they would compete for food with the valuable sport and commercial fish. If they entered the system, they would likely become a dominant species in the Great Lakes.

Two species of Asian carp-the silver and the bighead carps-escaped into the Mississippi River from southern aquaculture facilities in the early 1990s when the facilities were flooded. Steadily, the carp have made their way northward, becoming the most abundant species in some areas of the Mississippi, out-competing native fish, and causing severe hardship to the people who fish the river. The Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal connects the Mississippi River to the Great Lakes. Currently, the carp are in the canal and have been sighted approximately 40 miles from Lake Michigan.

Links to more information on the Asian Carp threat:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Planning for Owasco Lake Day 2010 - Looking for interested volunteers!

Dear OWLA members,

Many OWLA members were unable to attend the meeting on December 3, so I offered to send an update and review of the Lake Day 2010 discussions and to ask for input from members.

During the meeting Kathy Cappella distributed copies of a draft outline that she proposed (attached). After much discussion, the date for Lake Day that appeared to work best is Thursday, July 1, 2010, from about 4 pm to 7:30 pm., and everyone agreed that we should expand the event to include more community and area participants. The proposal also includes formation of a “Leadership Team” to carry out the goals of the event. Joe Wasileski, Sue Muldoon, Stas’ Kott, Kathy Cappella and I have already agreed to be on the team, and we welcome other OWLA members to join us. If you are interested, please let me know and also state the area of participation you would like to lead.

Please take a few minutes review the attached proposal and send me your thoughts and ideas for Lake Day 2010. Kathy and I will then update the proposal so that we can move forward early in 2010 to make this the best Owasco Lake Day ever.

I know this is a busy time of year for everyone, but if you can send comments, ideas, suggestions by December 15, it will help us move forward.

Many thanks,

Norma Leone

Please e-mail us at OWLANEWS@gmail.com if you would like more information or get to contact Norma Leone.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

December OWLA Meeting notice from Joe Wasileski

Hi Owls!!

We will have our December Meeting at the Springside Inn on Wednesday December 2nd at 6:00 pm not 7:00 pm. We should be through by 8:00pm. That way people from Rochester can get home a little earlier. Some Owls will get there early at 5PM for dinner. Committee heads, be prepared to give a committee update, and outlooks and GOALS for 2010! Send a report via email to me, if unable to attend.
Norma and Kathy will be focusing our attention on Owasco Lake Day 2010, in a planning discussion. I will lead a discussion on our 2009 successes, as well as our anticipated goals for 2010. This should be an IMPORTANT meeting from an organizational standpoint. So PLEASE try to come and add your input!! We thought about a Saturday meeting, but most of you voted for next Wednesday, so be there.
We will meet again in January, and probably take a month off in February, at least that is the game plan. Keep an eye out for last month's meeting minutes along with a compilation of your responses as to the important accomplishments of OWLA in 2010. These will be emailed to you shortly. - Joe W.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Interesting Guide to Weed Management

An interesting guide to weed management was written last summer by a group of Finger Lakes Agencies involved in protecting Water Quality. The guide; "Aquatic Weeds: Nuisance and Necessity; Managing Waterweeds in Cayuga, Owasco and Seneca Lakes" is a must read for Fingerlakes shoreline owners and users. The 28 page PDF guide was published by the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network. It does a nice job of explaining the life cycle of weeds, as well as many options available to combat them.

Here is an excerpt from the Introduction and a link to the full PDF document:

"Lakeshore property owners have concerns that most other landowners do not face. Mighty waves erode the shoreline, fluctuating water levels threaten drinking water wells, activities in the yard can have an immediate effect on water quality – and excessive water weeds can ruin the enjoyment of the property. An overabundance of aquatic plants can prevent swimming, foul boat propellers, stink as they rot along shorelines and reduce property values. Lakeshore residents expect reasonable access to, and use of, the lake. For many this includes the need for weed management, used here to mean activities intended to reduce the abundance or species of aquatic plants in a specific area.

Weed management requires knowledge, time, patience and money. There is no magic bullet that will eliminate excess weeds without continued effort and without harmful side affects. Some management attempts can even make the problem worse. A lake, after all, is not a swimming pool but a dynamic, complex system and expectations should be realistic.

The goal of this booklet is to support weed management in Seneca, Cayuga and
Owasco Lakes that takes into account all of the lake's users, emphasizing a watershed approach."

Link to the WQMA web site and PDF guide:http://co.cayuga.ny.us/wqma/projects/Aquatic_Weeds_Nuisance_and_Necessity.pdf

Take a look and tell us what you think!

- Lakeman

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Senator Valeski to speak at OWLA meeting

Message from OWLA President Joe Wasileski:

Hello OWLS!!
Greeting from Joe!!!

We are having an OWLA meeting this Wednesday November 4th at 7 PM at The Springside Inn.

Our guest will be Senator David Valesky. He is coming specifically to hear our concerns about the water quality of Owasco Lake, and what he might do to help OWLA and it's Mission. Please come to meet him and also weigh in on your concerns and solutions. Senator Valesky wants very much to help us, and wants to be known as a Finger Lakes advocate! We have been working on putting together specific propositions that he might choose to HELP us achieve. Please come, and bring your friends, to meet him and see if we can move forward to achieve our goals. A strong turn out, will definitely help our cause. This is not a political event, but merely one additional effort to try to help OWASCO LAKE!

Thanks Joe

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Home Electronics Recycling Event

Celebrating America Recycles Day!

Date, Time, Place:
Saturday, November 14, 2009.
Running from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 am.
Located at the City of Auburn Landfill, 311 North Division St. Auburn, NY.

Acceptable Household Electronics Include:
Computer equipment
Computer monitors and Televisions - $5 each (limit 2 per household)
DVD players
Desktop and Tabletop Copiers
Stereo systems
Video Game systems (for example Nintendo or Sega systems)
Cell phones

If you have questions, please call CCE at 315-255-1183, or email solidwaste@cornell.edu.

This event is sponsored by Cayuga County Solid Waste Management Program Office, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County, Cayuga County Department of Planning and Economic Development, and the Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation District. Funding is provided by the NUCOR Steel of Auburn, Inc., Cayuga County and the NYS DEC.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Gas Drilling in the Marcellus Shale of Upstate NY

We had a very interesting discussion at this month's OWLA meeting on the potential water quality issues related to proposed gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale region of NY which crosses the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes. Hillary Lambert, the Lake Steward for the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network gave us some background on the issue and her organizations interest and position on this important regional water quality issue.

A draft Environmental Imapct Statement on proposed regulations was released by the NYSDEC on Sept. 30th for public comment. The comment period runs through the month of October. Link: http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/47554.html

We encourage you to take a look this potential water quality issue. Much of the land in the Owasco Lake Watershed already has exploration leases in place, signed between land owners and various drilling companies. If the price of natural gas becomes favorable and the proposed regulation structure moves forward, we may start to see this type of drilling in the watersheds of the Fingerlakes. It's your surface water and aquifers which may become affected; you may want to learn more about these proposed activities.

Links to a couple of web sites with more information:

Shaleshock http://www.shaleshock.org/

NYS DEC http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/47554.html

Sullivan County Drilling task force report http://www.co.sullivan.ny.us/index.asp?orgid=610&storyTypeID=&sid=&

There is also an informational session for landowners coming up later this month:

Gas Drilling: Legal Issues for Landowners (with or without a lease)
October 29, 2009
7:00 pm
9:30 pm
Gas Drilling: Legal Issues for Landowners (with or without a lease)A free educational forum, open to all.
With increased natural gas development in the Southern Tier will come new and complex legal issues that affect both landowners and communities. Please join us on Thursday, October 29, from 7:00 to 9:30 pm to hear presentations by legal experts, followed by an opportunity to ask questions.
The forum will be held at Cornell Vet School’s James Law Auditorium on Tower Road, just a block from Rt. 366.
Topics will include lease terms and considerations “force majeure” lease extensions
intricacies of lease extension/expiration compulsory integration (the legal extraction of gas from under unleased lands) liability issues protection of rights and property

All are encouraged to attend this unique event sponsored by the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) South Central NY Agricultural Team, together with Shaleshock Citizens Action Coalition, Community Science Institute, Finger Lakes Bioneers, Interfaith Action for Healing Earth, NYS Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, Sustainable Tompkins, and Tompkins County Farm Bureau.
For more information, please contact Schuyler CCE at 607-535-7161, or Tompkins CCE at 272-2292, or by email at: cab377@cornell.edu. More details will soon be posted to the CCE Natural Gas Development Resource Center website: http://gasleasing.cce.cornell.edu/ .


Friday, October 9, 2009

Conference on Phosphorus

The Cayuga Lake Watershed Network is sponsoring a half day conference in Ithaca on October 24th at the Ithaca Unitarian Church Annex (208 E. Buffalo Street). The program sounds very interesting, you may want to take this opportunity to learn about how Cayuga Lake is responding to phosphorus issues in their watershed.

Press release from the CLWN:

A FREE fall conference will be held October 24 in Ithaca, 9am - noon. Entitled Phosphorus Inputs into Cayuga Lake, speakers include Roxy Johnson, Doug Haith, Steve Penningroth, and Todd Walter. A panel discussion will include the above speakers, as well as Jose Lozano and Bob Johnson.

The south end of Cayuga Lake has been listed as impaired by the DEC in part because of excess phosphorous inputs. Rectifying this situation requires a better understanding of what are the main inputs of phosphorous to the south end of the lake and what can be done to reduce them. The lake source cooling scheme of Cornell has been targeted as a significant contributor, but is it?
This public seminar has been organized by the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network and the Cayuga Lake Intermunicipal Organization to address these issues. Ithaca Unitarian Church Annex (208 E. Buffalo Street).

9 – 9.30 “Phosphorous and sediment monitoring results from three Cayuga Lake creeks,” Roxy Johnson, City of Ithaca.
9.30 – 9.45 “Volunteer monitors, certified lab tests and USGS flow data: a solid basis for estimating nutrient and sediment loading from tributary streams to southern Cayuga Lake,” Steve Penningroth, Community Science Institute.
9.45 – 10.30 “Estimating nutrient and sediment loads to Cayuga Lake,” Professor Doug Haith, Cornell University.
10.30 -10.45 Refreshments
10.45 – 11.15 “Do agricultural best management practices work? Combining monitoring and modeling to find answers,” Professor Todd Walter, Cornell University.
11.15 – 12.00 Panel discussion with authors and additional guests including Jose Lozano of the City of Ithaca and Bob Johnson of Cornell University

Monday, September 28, 2009

One-on-one lawn care guidance from CCE

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County will be offering one-on-one lawn care question and answer sessions for residents of the Owasco and Cayuga Lake Watersheds. Lawn care practices and there effects on water quality will be discussed, as well as soil testing and fertilizer use.

The 15 minutes sessions will take place on Moday Oct. 5th, and Wednesdays Oct. 7th and 14th from 11:30am to 4:30pm at the CCE offices at 248 Grant Ave. in Auburn.

Registration is required by Oct. 1st by calling CCE at 255-1183.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Managing Erosion on fire lanes/access roads

I found a great article the other day on managing roadway erosion on a Skaneateles Watershed web site. It is very well done and includes complete drawings and specifications. Over the years I have had lots of people ask about techniques and expertise in controlling roadway erosion on steep slopes. Anyone who has a dirt or gravel roadway with any significant slope has experienced erosion problems that these deflectors could help prevent. There is also some good information on watershed friendly landscaping at this web site. Take a look and see what you think.

(picture and web site link are from Cornell Cooperative Ext. of Ononondaga County)

link to the article and downlaodable brochure:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Protect our Lake!

Here is a list of the Top 5 DO NOT'S to help protect the water quality of Owasco Lake.

1. DO NOT wash your dog, boat, hoist, or dock (or anything!) in the
lake. When soap detergents, and cleaners enter the lake, chemicals
and phosphorus are released into the water. The best place to wash
vehicles is at a car wash where the used water can be treated properly.
At home, instead of washing on the driveway, choose a piece of lawn
away from the lake – the grass can help absorb and filter some of the
dirt and suds.

2. DO NOT dump leaves, grass clippings, or yard debris into the lake.
Plant material releases excess nutrients into the water as they
decompose. Too much nutrients can lead to algae blooms, fish kills,
and excessive aquatic plant growth. Leaving your grass clippings on
the lawn, or mulching your leaves can provide natural fertilizer. If
you must rake, bag your leaves in paper sacks until they can be
picked up or composted. Remember that storm drains and ditches
can also carry leaves to nearby waters!

3. DO NOT expose soil without protecting it from erosion. When
eroded sediment is washed into the lake it can smother fish habitat
and promote the growth of various weeds. Sediment is a big threat
because it can muddy the water and increase turbidity. Construction
sites, and other exposed soils, should have the proper erosion control

4. DO NOT dispose of household hazardous wastes in the lake, on the
ground, or down storm drains and ditches. Household chemicals like
antifreeze, paint, motor oil, cleaning detergents, degreasers, pesticides,
and fertilizers are harmful to your health and the health of the lake.
Remember the land in the watershed all drains to the lake! Never
dump anything you wouldn’t want to drink!! To learn how to dispose
of these substances properly, contact Cornell Coperative Extension
of Cayuga County.

5. DO NOT neglect your septic system. One of the most common
watershed violations is failing septic systems! When out-dated or
abused septic systems fail, bacteria-ridden wastewater can pollute
the lake and contaminate backyards, groundwater, wells, and
swimming areas. Take proper care of your septic system by having
it inspected regularly. The average system requires a pumping every
3-5 years. The average lifespan of a well-maintained septic system
is 30-40 years. If you suspect your system is in need of repair or
replacement, fit the necessary costs into your budget. A new system
may come with a price tag, but you will be investing in the value of
your home, as well as your family’s health and the well-being of the
lake. Remember to obtain the necessary permits before you do any
work on your septic system.

(adapted from Skanaeteles Watershed Guidance - CCE)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Senator Schumer concerned about weeds in the Fingerlakes

Most of us Lake users are more than concerned about weed growth in the Fingerlakes. According to today's Syracuse Post-Standard so is U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. The article describes the battle Skaneateles residents have been fighting with weed growth over the last few years. The senator indicates in the article that he will seek to involve The Army Corp of Engineers to help fight weeds in all 10 Fingerlakes.

Another interesting comment in the article is that the Army Corp of Engineers has been already working to eradicate weeds in Northern and Western New York. Maybe we can get some added help from them here.

Stay Tuned.............I hope we hear more very soon. Better yet, drop Senator Schumer a line and tell him we need his help on Owasco Lake. Remember the old saying; "The squeaky wheel gets the grease"

Link to Syracuse Newspaper article on Weeds in Skaneateles Lake:

If you are interested also take a look at a related article on weeds in Otisco Lake.

Link to Syracuse Newspaper article on Weeds in Otisco Lake:

Monday, August 10, 2009

Household Hazardous Waste Event

Cayuga County's annual Household Hazardous Waste Day is coming up on Saturday October 3rd. The event requires pre-registration with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County, starting Monday August 31st at 315.255.1183.

This is a great opportunity to safely get rid of old oil/gasoline, pool chemicals, pesticides, home electronics, small propane tanks, etc. Please use caution when handling any type of hazardous products and follow all product label directions/warnings carefully.

Link to Cornell Cooperative Extension's Auburn Citizen article on the event:

Link to frequently asked hazardous waste questions:

Friday, July 24, 2009

Students Learn About Owasco Lake!

Owasco Marine donated a rental pontoon boat so students from the Blueprint II Middle School group could experience our lake "up front & personal" during a recent "Community Field Trip". Owasco Watershed Lake Association President Joe Wasileski took three groups of students out into the lake and down the Owasco River to discuss and experience all of the opportunities and challenges our lake has to offer. The fact that Owasco Lake is the drinking water source for close to 55,000 people make it a vital natural resource that must be protected. Pictured with Wasileski are Danielle Thomas, Daniel Biljanoski, Matt Trupiano, Jenna Alberici, Nick Marinelli, & Colette Swanbery.
Thanks to Sue Muldoon for passing on this story and also for her efforts to educate the Blueprint II Middle School group about the environment and the Owasco Lake Watershed.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Owasco Lake Day.....Thank you!

The second annual Owasco Lake Day on July 1st was a rounding success!

There was a very large turnout of people interested in hearing about protecting and improving the water quality in our lake. Many local officials and educators spoke on various issues and the continued need to protect the lake for future generations. There were also displays by various groups and agencies to give the attendees more opportunities to learn about Owasco Lake and their environment.

Stas Kott; an OWLA Director, was the Master of Ceremonies for the event. Stas, along with Norma Leone led the OWLA committee, that put together this outstanding event.

President Joe Wasileski may have summed it up the best: "It was certainly GREAT to be a part of last weeks events, and work with such a fine group of people and friends. There was a great turnout, with an impressive list of very fine people in attendance. This was the best part--- the Quality of participants and exhibits were outstanding! Everybody there had an ardent desire to help solve the problems that Owasco Lake has, and I'm sure will partner with us to make a difference in the future".

..........and a very special THANK YOU! to all the OWLA members and community leaders that worked together to create such a special day!

We can't wait for next year!

Get out and enjoy the summer! - Lakeman

Link to the Auburn Citizen article about the Owasco Lake Day:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Help control invasive weeds.... Adopt-A-Shorline

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County will be holding a training session on Saturday June 27th; 10:00 am at their offices; 248 Grant Ave. Auburn.

The Adopt-a-Shoreline training session will help interested citizens learn to identify, monitor and control invasive aquatic weeds on local lakes.

Invasive weeds are devastating to local bodies of water. Eurasian water milfoil, curly leaf pondweed and water chestnut are causing problems for boaters and fishermen, they reduce waterfront property values, disrupt the growth of native plants and can interfere with fish reproduction.

Pre-Registration is not required, but would be appreciated. Call CCE at 255-1183 for more information.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

“Light an LED for Owasco Lake”

"Light an LED for Owasco Lake"
Sponsored by the Owasco Watershed Lake Association (OWLA)
Please join with others around the Lake
by turning on an LED Light
Friday, July 3, 2009, at 9:30 PM

Please join us for "Ring of Lights" during our Independence Day Weekend Celebration.
The event builds on an Indian tradition that showed respect for the great gift of "Owasco Lake," and it also demonstrates our unity as a community.
We would like to update this tradition to be environmentally friendly and promote the use of LED lights rather than flares, which contain phosphorus and can cause harm to our water.
Owasco Lake is important to all of us, and this is a fun way to show it.

How can I get LED Lights? You can buy LED lights from local vendors, or Owasco Watershed Lake Association has found a USA distributor who sells LED lights at a reasonable price. We will be pleased to order your lights for you. All orders must be accompanied with your payment and all orders must be received by OWLA by June 20, 2009. You will be responsible for picking up your LED lights on Lake Day, Wednesday, July 1, at Emerson Park Pavilion.
Other environmentally friendly alternatives include using a string of LED holiday lights, nylon solar powered LED patio lanterns, or solar LED camping lanterns.

For more information or to share other environmentally friendly alternatives, please e-mail
LED Light Order Form - by June 20, 2009, accompanied by payment. I will pick them up on Lake Day, July 1st at Emerson Park Pavilion.
Name: ______________________________
Address: _____________________________
City, State, Zip: _____________________
Daytime Telephone: _______________ FAX: ______________
Please order LED Lights X $10 each =
Check# Amount enclosed:
Send payment made out to "OWLA" and order form by June 20, 2009 to:
Post Office Box #1
Auburn, NY 13021

Saturday, June 6, 2009

2nd Annual OWASCO LAKE DAY - Wed. July 1st

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

5 – 6:30 pm
Emerson Park Pavilion

Updates from New York State Senator Mike Nozzolio and from John D. Halfman, Ph.D., Finger Lakes Institute; on the Water Quality of Owasco Lake

Guest Speaker
Peter E. Black, PhD
Professor of Water and Related Land Resources, Emeritus, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

“Together We Can Make a Difference”


Ring of Lights
Friday, July 3, 2009 (fireworks night)

LED lights available for $10.00 each
Order by June 20th
Details and order information at:
or www.owla.org

Monday, June 1, 2009

Monthly OWLA meeting this Wednesday June 3rd

Message from our President!

Hi OWLS!!! WE will have our monthly meeting at the Springside Inn this Wednesday June 3rd at 7:00PM.
Be prepared to give your committee reports. [send a substitute if you can't make it].
Most of our meeting will deal with Owasco Lake Day and the Ring of Fire. We will have Groton Updates and Buoy News, as well as discussion of Sue Muldoon's reforestation Project. Any other items can also be addressed. Please come and bring others who are not on this list.

We need everyone's help for our ambitious agenda for Lake Day. Stas Kott asked me to inform you that he will hold an Owasco Lake Day meeting at Emerson Park this Saturday June 6th at 9:30 AM ----His and Norma's Committee will need all the help that they can get.

See you all this week ..................Joe Wasileski - President

June News From the Finger Lakes Institute

We just recieved an e-mail from Sarah Meyer with the latest offerings from The Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith College. FLI does an excellent job in providing quality environmental education programs focused on pertinet Finger Lakes issues.

Check them out!

June 2009 Finger Lakes Institute Happenings
Read and print the entire newsletter from http://fli.hws.edu/newsletter.asp

Upcoming Programs

June 15, 7:00 pm, Otisco Lake MarinaTalking and Teaching About Aquatic Plants: A Workshop for Educators

June 15, 7:00- 9:00 pm, Finger Lakes Institute Seneca Room
Genesee-Finger Lakes Regional Blueway Analysis Stakeholder Meeting

June 25, 6:30 pm, Finger Lakes Institute ClassroomA Homeowners Guide to Aquatic Plants

June 30, 6:30 pm, Finger Lakes Institute ClassroomLake-friendly Households: Is Your Home Healthy and Environmentally Friendly? Part 1

July 7, 6:30 pm, Finger Lakes Institute ClassroomLake-friendly Households: Is Your Home Healthy and Environmentally Friendly? Part 2

Education Outreach
Teachers! Professional Development Opportunities Offered at the FLI
Summer Finger Lakes Exploration Camp for Middle School Youth
School Without Walls Visits HWS

Community Outreach
Greening for the Greater Good: Demonstration Rain Garden Planted at the FLI
Two Part Lake-Friendly Homeowners Program
Diet for a Small Lake New Edition Now Available
Planning for Recreational Paddling in the Finger Lakes

Learn more at: http://fli.hws.edu/workshops.asp

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Reminder - Home Electronics and Propane Collection Event

Just another friendly reminder, Cayuga County Residents can recycle thier discarded Home Electronics this Saturday, May 30, 2009, at the Natural Resource Center, 7413 County House Road, Auburn. The event presents an excellent opportunity to discard home electronics and propane tanks in a safe manner. Proper disposal protects human health, our community and the environment.
For more information click on the link below.

Link to detailed blog entry on this recycling event:

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Focus on mowing, not fertilizing.......

With the lawn care season in full swing, we are all spending time caring for our yard. I have seen numerous articles in magazines and newspapers lately with various bits of environmentally friendly guidance for our lawns. One article I read on the web was quite interesting. It was from the Horticulture Dept. at Cornell and the title was "For A 'Green' Lawn, Focus On Mowing, Not Early Fertilizing" It really hits home with the on-going issues with heavy Phosphorus loading in the fingerlakes. We can all do our part to minimize the amount of phosphorus that gets into our lakes and streams. Take a look at the article through the link below.

- get out and enjoy the outdoors! - Lakeman

link to Cornell Dept. of Horticulture lawn care article :http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/news/lawn.html

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Boating Safety - It's National Safe Boating Week!

With the boating season upon us, all boaters should take a moment to refresh their boater safety knowledge.

The Auburn Citizen has a regular column on Sunday's during the spring and summer covering all aspects of safe boating. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxillary authors these columns and we encourage you to take a look. In their upcoming series they plan on covering a few of the safety aspects that tend to create trouble. These include, among others, navigation rules, anchoring, docking, trailers and trailering and distress calls.

Link to Auburn Citizen article:http://www.auburnpub.com/articles/2009/05/10/lake_life/lakelife02.txt

There are plenty of sources for Boater Safety information on-line, as well as in the user manuals that come with most marine equipment.

So take a few minutes today and review proper safety procedures in your boat's owners manual or check out some of the links we have included at the bottom of this article. As the weather gets nicer and we take to the beautiful waters of upstate NY, please remember to boat safely!

Get out and enjoy the Lake! - Lakeman

- link to the NY Boater safety guide: http://www.nysparks.com/boating/resource.asp
- link to US Coast Guard Boater Safety web-site: http://www.uscgboating.org/SAFETY/safety.htm
- link to an online Boater Safety Course: http://www.boatingbasicsonline.com/

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Home Electronics and Propane Cylinder Recycling Event

Just a reminder, Cayuga County Residents can recycle thier discarded Home Electronics two weeks from today; MAY 30, 2009.

Details from the solid waste web-site:

This spring all residents of Cayuga County and the City of Auburn are invited to participate in the 2009 Home Electronics and Propane Collection Event. The event presents an excellent opportunity to discard materials in a safe manner. Proper disposal protects human health, our community and the environment. The materials collected at this event will be recycled to the fullest extent possible by our contractors.

Date, Time, Place:
Saturday, May 30, 2009.
Running from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Located at the Natural Resource Center, 7413 County House Road, Auburn, next to the jail and nursing home.

$5 fee for each small Freon applicance (air conditioner, dehumidifer, and mini-fridge), TV and computer monitor (limit is 2 TV's)*
All other household electronics are FREE**
Propane tanks accepted for FREE (size limit- 40 pounds)*TV's and computer monitors can contain 6 to 8 pounds of lead in their cathode ray tubes, so they cost more to process. Many computer manufacturers provide recycling services for products purchased from them. However, these services usually cost between $10 and $30.** Floor model copiers are not considered home electronics, but may be accepted at the sponsor´s and contractor´s discretion for $10 each (limit 1).

Acceptable Household Electronics Include:
All computer components
Computer monitors $5 each
TV's (Limit 2) $5 each
DVD players
Desktop and Tabletop Copiers
Stereo systems
Ethernet wires
Game systems (for example Nintendo or Sega systems)
Cell phones

Also accepted will be:
1 pound to 40 pound propane tanks
Hand held cylinders containing such gases as oxygen, MAPP and helium
Small freon appliances such as air conditioners, dehumidifers, and mini-fridges for $5 each (see below for larger freon appliances).

If you have questions about whether or not a specific item will be accepted, or if you are a business and want references for electronics collection and recycling services, please call Irene Holak at 315-255-1183, or email solidwaste@cornell.edu.

This event is sponsored by Cayuga County Solid Waste Management Program Office, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County, Cayuga County Department of Planning and Economic Development, and the Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation District. Funding is provided by the Cayuga County Legislature, NUCOR Steel of Auburn, Inc. and the NYS DEC.

link to the Cayuga County Solid Waste web page:http://cayuganet.org/hazwaste/electronics09.htm

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

New bi-weekly OWLA column in the Citizen

Starting this past Monday May 5th, the Auburn Citizen began publishing a bi-weekly column from OWLA concerning Owasco Lake and it's watershed. The first column was written by Charlie Greene, our Vice President. OWLA's goal with this column is to raise awareness of lake issues, as well as to educate the public on various topics relating to the preservation and protection of the Owasco Lake Watershed.

Quote from the Citizen's editors recent column describing thier new bi-weekly feature:

" On page A9 of Monday's paper, we launched a new column that will run in that space every other Monday into the fall.“OWL Watch” is a column that leaders of the Owasco Watershed Lake Association will write to inform readers on a wide range of issues related to the health of the watershed. Owasco Lake's well-documented water quality challenges deserve special attention, and we're fortunate to have a group such as OWLA willing to put in the time to share information with readers.This week's column dealt with a basic explanation of how watersheds work, and future columns will build from there."

see the OWLA web-site home page for a link to the complete article in PDF at: http://www.owla.org/index.html

Sunday, April 26, 2009

OWLA Meeting Wed. May 6th at 7pm

Message from our President Joe Wasileski:

Dear Owls,

Please come to our May 6th meeting at the Springside Inn at 7 PM.

We will be meeting with all our new VOLUNTEERS to integrate them into our committee structure. If you are a Committee Head, please come and be absolutely prepared to offer two or three specific projects and goals for your committee to work on for this Summer and the rest of the year. If you have any questions regarding the meeting please contact me asap! We have sent out invitations to over 40 new Volunteers to join us that nite.

ALSO!!!! There will be a SPECIAL Board of DIRECTORS meeting of OWLA starting at 6PM SHARP!! Please be there, if you are on our BOARD. (Call Joe for board mtg. agenda)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Upcoming Boater Safety Courses

With spring in full bloom and the summer boating season almost upon us, its time to be thinking about taking a boater safety course. There are some new requirements since 2006, so be sure to visit the NYS Office of Parks and Recreation web-site at http://nysparks.state.ny.us/boating/edu_boat.asp .

(excerpts from the NYS Parks web-site)
Legal Requirements in NYS - Persons Required to Complete a Safety Course

You must hold a safety certificate if:
-You operate a personal watercraft and are at least 14 years of age. Until 2009 operators age 10-13 can still operate with restrictions.
-You wish to operate a motorboat (other than a personal watercraft) and you are at least 10 years old and less than 18 years old.
-If you are less than 10 years old you may operate a motorboat (non-PWC) only if someone over 18 or someone between the ages of 10 and 18 who holds a safety certificate, is on board with you.
-Anyone may operate a personal watercraft if someone at least 18 years old is riding on the craft and they hold a safety certificate.

Upcoming courses in our area:

Sunday, April 19, 2009
Bass Pro Shop, Auburn, Cayuga, Gray, Ralph (315)258-2700
This class is for adults and children

Saturday, April 25, 2009
Sennett Fire House II, Cayuga, Nedza, John (315)364-7251
This class is for adults and children

Sunday, April 26, 2009
Bass Pro Shop, Auburn, Cayuga, Gray, Ralph (315)258-2700
This class is for adults and children

Sunday, April 26, 2009
Cayuga Comm. College, Auburn, Cayuga, Stiver, Leonard (315)255-1743
This class is for adults and children

Sunday, May 17, 2009
Bass Pro Shop, Auburn, Cayuga, Gray, Ralph (315)258-2700
This class is for adults and children

Monday, May 18, 2009
Bass Pro Shop, Auburn, Cayuga, Gray, Ralph (315)258-2700
This class is for adults and children

Saturday, May 23, 2009
Meridian Fire Dept., Rt. 326, Meridan, Cayuga, Nedza, John (315)364-7251
This class is for adults and children

Link to the full NYS Parks training course schedule:

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Summary of the 4/1/09 OWLA Meeting at the Springside

Summary of OWLA meeting 4/1/09

President Joe Wasileski brought the meeting to order and the subjects we talked about were:

1. Contacting and recruiting members who are interested in our committees.
2. Membership – Joe Wasileski and Kathy Clay: Elaine Dec is working on using new memebership software. We sent out renewal forms and are waiting for Decals to send out Thank You letters.
3. Communications - got out the newsletter. Web site – Al Kozlowski talked about web development and will contact Tony Hart and Charlie Green who are working on it.
Kathryn Cappella Hankins – The Citizen is willing to publish Lake Awareness Stories and needs guest writers sponsored by Owla members with topics ranging from the Buoy Weather Station, water evaluations, alternatives to fertilizers, etc, to be 500 words every week for several weeks. *At our next meeting we need to know which members and volunteers would be willing to write articles .
4. David Carr - OWN (Owasco Watershed Network) Grant Status
Bob Brower – All state expenditures are under review with not much action.
2009 Owasco Lake Buoy deployement is still in discussion.
5. Agriculture – Terry Lattimore: Tap into some info from other water sheds.
Do some extensive testing on the Inlet. Make people aware that just because you don’t live on the lake, you are still responsible because you drink the water. Article on "Where do the farmers put their manure?" handed out. Farms can be a Biological Chemical Co. The solutions need to be big scale because we have so many cows in the watershed area.
Bob Brower: We need to keep our focus on the connection between the watershed and the phosphorus. Much of the phosphorus is coming from agriculture. Cazenovia banned all phosphorus including dishwashing detergent and is fining people who do not comply.
Joe Wasileski: Talked about an organization called Citizens Campaign for the Environment. They have an office in Syracuse with a focus that includes Owasco Lake. Dereth Glance or someone from her organization might be a good speaker for Lake Day. You can go to the website: dglance@citizenscampaign.org or www.citizenscampaign.org to find out more about them.
We need to find a chair person for Lake Day and a dynamic speaker to draw as much public support as possible.
6. LandUse/Zoning – Kathryn Capella Hankins is the new chairman:
The Inter-Municipal Agreement spearheaded by John Klink, the Owasco Supervisor is a great start to address land/use around the
Lake. He has met with the Inter-municipal Committee three timesalready. John and Ed Wagner have been contacted by Joe to propose a phosphate ban in the Town of Owasco. The Cazenovia Lake phosphate ban will be used as an ongoing example. Kathryn needs volunteers for her committee to help John Klink with his mission.
7. Owasco Flats – Sandie Doran: Working on Education, Storm Water Pamphlet, presented sample drawing of map to go on Kiosk. Attained funds along with commitment of funds from OWLA to move forward with the Kiosk. Needs 5 volunteers to help with fundraiser at Cascade for Flats and the Owla. Education: Blog that will link to OWLA site. Needs volunteers to help with Kayak Trip. Talked about doing Herp Studies at Owasco Flats and needs someone to run the study. Schools want to help. Others subjects talked about: Milfoil project - Bob Johnson and Japanese Knot Weed.
8. Corporate – Stas Kott: Letters to Corporations to get donations. Putting logo
on the website to sponsor OWLA and the Flats. We need Sustainability. Get Norma to help with putting together a letter. Maybe have 3 tiers of sponsorship and recognition. Had patch designed and made up for OWLA.
9. Treasury Report – Jeff Trescot: Handed out copies of treasury report to members in attendance.
10. Environmental - Joe Wasileski reporting for Jim Beckwith: Jim will head up water testing on the lake. Dick Coalson – will compile statistics and compile a report for 2009.
Questions remain on the buoy deployment this year. The weather station on the buoy gives weather reports every 40 minutes and is beneficial to the community. It is also on the web. We need to revisit options to possibly get help from Cornell. (Al will spearhead getting this done) We could advertise on the Weather website those corporations willing to donate funds that will keep the buoy on Owasco Lake.
11. Education – Sue Muldoon: The Stardust Foundation with student involvement wish to create buffers within the watershed. Al and Stas volunteered to have buffers installed on their property.
12. Anonymous Donor - willing to fund Lawyers to continue to deal with several Owasco Lake issues. Have a lawyer from the law firm come speak to us to determine if legal action would be effective. Al Kozlowski volunteered to arrange this future meeting.
13. Joe urged all members present and especially committee chairman to come to the meeting on May 6th prepared with 2 specific tasks for new volunteers to work on.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The "Owasco Lake News" is one year old!

Yes, this month the Owasco Lake News blog is one year old!

We set up this blog as a communications tool to help inform our membership, and for that matter the world, on the latest happenings and news about OWLA and Owasco Lake.

A few statistics about the blog (during the last 12 months).....…….
- we have had over 1,846 visits to the blog
- we have had over 3,223 page views
- we average betwwen 6-10 visits to our blog daily, depending on the season
- we have written and posted 70 blog articles
- we have over 24 links to other "lake related" web sites
- about 25% of our visits come from our link on our web-site OWLA.org, ~25% from direct entries, and ~50% from search engine search results re-directions (like Google)
……….not too bad for the blog not being publicized very well!

We have had a lot of great comments from folks who have been enjoying the content.

What do you think?
What could we be doing better or add to the blog to keep our members and the public more informed?
What topics would you like see discussed?
Do you have news, meeting information or interesting topics we can discuss on the blog?

Please send us your comments and ideas to our contact e-mail address at owlanews@gmail.com.

We really need your help to give us suggestions, provide content and to publicize the blog site.

If you print or send out any mailings, newsletters, and other information to our membership, please add the Owasco Lake News blog URL (http://www.owlanews.blogspot.com/), as well as the OWLA web-site URL to your documents and help spread the word. Also tell your friends, family and colleagues who love the lake to please check us out.

Thanks for everyones support!

Also, Thanks to CELESTE for being our first registered "Follower"

- Tony (aka - Lakeman)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Town attacks milfoil

There was an interesting article in the Syracuse Post-Standard this week concerning the efforts in the Town of Cazenovia to control milfoil in Cazenovia Lake. The town earlier in the year also passed a ban on phosporus laden fertilizer use around the lake.

This community is certainly taking actions to deal with weeds in thier lake. Do you believe we should be advocating for these kind of actions in the Owasco Lake Watershed? Let us know......Please add your comments at the bottom of this blog.

link to the complete article:

Monday, March 9, 2009

"Improve Your World"

"Improve Your World" is a "green" television program developed by SUNY ESF to present environmental issues affecting our region and the world. I caught an episode yesterday morning on WSYR Channel 9.2 (TWC 890). I found it to be quite informative and relavent to what is happening here in the Fingerlakes. Segment topics such as "next generation" septic system techologies and how NY City is working to protect its watershed in the Catskills were both very educational.

The program is produced locally by Syracuse University, and is very well done. If you get a chance, tune in next Sunday morning at 11:30am on WSYR ch. 9.2.

For more information; check out the Syracuse University "Orange Televeision" website at http://orangetv.syr.edu/showdetails.aspx?showid=13

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Finally! NYSDEC announces help for Owasco Lake

The NY State Department of Environmental Conservation announced Tuesday that it had come to an agreement on the Phosphorus discharge limits for the Groton Sewage Treatment Plant (STP).

After many years of debate, The DEC has finally come up with a reasonable approach to the ongoing problems with phosphorus discharges to the Owasco Inlet from the Town of Groton STP. The new permit will eventually limit the amount of phosphorus the plant can discharge into the Owasco Inlet to .5 milligrams per liter, or approximately two pounds per day. This is the level that OWLA has been lobbying for several years. Higher phosphorus levels have been associated with increased weed growth and algae blooms in the lake. Groton will be required to meet the new limits in 14 months; June, 2010.

The Auburn Citizen had a nice article outlining the final terms of the agreement and OWLA's position on the announcement. Our President ; Joe Wasileski was quoted as follows: "....... the organization is pretty happy about these regulations after eight years of fighting. Every pound of phosphorus can lead to 500 pounds of weeds in the lake, he said.“(Two pounds per day) is a big start,” Wasileski said. “This whole thing has just been dragging on so long.”

Read the entire article at this Link:

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Looking for help with our web-site

Do you have talent and/or experience with web page development or maintenance?

The Owasco Watershed Lake Association is looking for help to give our OWLA.org web-site a "refresh".

OWLA has had a web-site for over 10 years. The folks who originally put it together did a great job and we always had a lot of comments on how useful the information was that we hosted there. Unfortunately we have not dedicated a lot of time to evolve the site as the organization has grown. We are now looking for help to give our OWLA web-site a "refresh".

We have volunteers available to help guide an experienced person build the content for a more evolved OWLA.org web site. So if you are one of those interested folks or know someone who is, please contact me at owlanews@gmail.com.

- Lakeman

Nuisance Invasive Species

In recent years, Nuisance Invasive Species have become a growing threat in New York State. They cost taxpayers millions of dollars in damages to our environment each year and and some can even harm our health.

What is an Invasive Species? According to the NY Invasive Species web site; “An invasive species is a species that is not native to the ecosystem under consideration, and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health which outweighs the species' benefits.

Most of us are familiar with some of the aquatic invasive species like the Zebra mussel, but terestrial invasives are becoming even a bigger threat to our yards, gardens, farms and forests in upstate NY. Experts are growing very concerned with our newest threats the Asian long-horned beetle and the Emerald ash borer.

Aquatic invasives are still a big concern for all of us here in the Finger Lakes. Folks who live and recreate on Owasco Lake are all familiar with invasives like eurasion milfoil and zebra mussels. Other invasives like the water chestnut, spiny water flea and japanese knotweed are becoming more widespread and we should all be aware of what to look for and how to properly remove them.

I encourage you to learn more about the threat from some of the newest invasive species through the links I have listed at the end of this blog. In the future, we will also try to keep a seperate "sidebar" of Invasive links on this blog.

- Lakeman

link to NY State Invasive Species web site:


Fingerlakes Prism aquatic invasive species site:



Thursday, February 19, 2009

Documentary on the Global Water Crisis at APT

The Auburn Public Theater will be presenting the movie "Flow" on Friday February 27, and Saturday February 28. This is a documentary about the global water crisis that covers a variety of topics including politics, pollution, and human rights.

Come out and become informed through Irena Salina's award-winning documentary investigation into what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st Century - The World Water Crisis.

Show times are at 8pm both nights, cost is $5, $4 on the APT web site (scroll down for information about "Flow"):


link to the movies web-site:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Upcoming OWLA Board Meeting - Strategy Session

Board of Directors & Members,

Spring is on the way, and now is the time for the OWLA Board and interested members to develop a 2009 Plan of Action for special events and activities to celebrate and protect Owasco Lake.

Please mark your calendar, start thinking of ideas, and plan to come for a:

Strategy Session for OWLA Board and interested OWLA Members

Date: Saturday, February 28 (March 7 if we experience bad weather)

Time: 10 am – 12 noon (w/continental breakfast included, starting at 9:15)

Place: Springside Inn

Meeting Topic: "Planning A Summer to Remember"

Goal: Identify objectives, support activities, tasks and assignments, estimate costs, timetables, event activities, dates, and so forth.

During the session, each chairperson (or your representative if you can't attend) can have 5-10 minutes to outline 2009 goals and plans for his/her committee. Then we will all work together to outline a plan for upcoming events, such as: Owasco Lake Day (including speaker to invite), Ring of Fire, Welcome to Summer on Owasco Lake, Adopt a Shoreline, Membership, Finances, and any other informational meetings/special events.
The outcomes of this meeting include: A Summer Calendar of Events, Projects (including Project Leaders and Timetables for each), Distribution of information on Lake Care (such as How to Landscape and Still Protect the Lake and other environmental concerns).

Building on our successes, we need your active participation in leadership and guidance to engage the community in preserving and protecting Owasco Lake. Your help is essential for success.

This meeting will replace the regular OWLA March 4 meeting, and we will plan to roll out the 2009 Plan of Action at the April 1 OWLA meeting.

(This message was sent from Norma Leone who is setting up this exciting 2009 planning session, Please contact Norma Leone or Joe Wasileski if you have any questions.....)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

What is the WQMA?

Are you aware that there is a central agency in Cayuga County that watches over water quality in our watershed? The Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency oversees water quality issues in all areas of the county. The agency is made up of local, county and state agencies as well as Lake Associations in the county. The agency representatives and citizen volunteers provide a very important service in helping manage water quality in our county.

There is a lot more information on the WQMA at the web site link listed below:

Take care..............................Lakeman

Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency Description (from their web site :http://co.cayuga.ny.us/wqma/description.htm)


The mission of the Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency is to protect and improve the quality of water in Cayuga County.


The Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency (WQMA) was established in November 1990 by the Cayuga County Legislature to provide a correlated approach to water quality management in Cayuga County. The agency's primary functions are to provide a vehicle for comprehensive planning combined with realistic implementation of goals for effective water quality management programs; to coordinate the efforts, activities and responsibilities of member agencies and organizations; and to increase public awareness and participation in water quality and quantity issues.


The goal of the County WQMA is to establish and implement a coordinated water quality program which identifies and addresses nonpoint source pollution and protection of groundwater resources in Cayuga County.

WQMA Meetings

The WQMA meets on a regular basis, on the 1st Thursday of the month throughout the year at 10 am. All meetings are scheduled for the Natural Resource Center at 7413 County House Road, Auburn.

WQMA Meeting Schedule 2009:
- Date - Time
January 8 - 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
February 5 - 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
March 5 - 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
April 2 - 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
May 7 - 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
June 4 - 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
July 2 - 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
August 6 - 10 a.m. - 11 p.m.
September 3 -10 a.m. - 11 p.m.
October 1 - 10 a.m. - 11 p.m.
November 5 - 10 a.m. - 11 p.m.
December 3 - 10 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

2008 OWLA water testing results from Dick Coalson

Each summer for over 15 years,, OWLA has been conducting water sampling around the Owasco Watershed. The data is used by various agencies to monitor overall water quality in Owasco Lake, as well as to spot possible issues in our watershed.

This program would not be possible without our volunteers and the support of the City of Auburn to test the samples each week. I want to personally Thank Dick Coalson for providing his time and leadership to keep this program active in recent years. Dick has provided this summary and we hope to post the actual data to the OWLA web site in the near future. If you would like further information on this years data or the program contact us at owlanews@gmail.com.

Stay warm! (Spring is just around the corner................)
- Lakeman



During 2008 water samples were collected from 28 sites by 20 volunteers around the lake from June 18th through August 27th. The sampling volunteers were assisted by James Soucy, an AmeriCorps volunteer, who picked up the samples around the lake each week as well as took the samples for the four City of Auburn sites. James transported the samples to the laboratory at the Auburn Sewage Treatment Plant and also did the actual testing of the samples for coliform and turbidity under Andy Roche’s supervision. The sampling volunteers also measured air and water temperatures and noted wind direction and relative strength. They recorded the sky condition, algae citings, and also reported any unusual observations during the week. All of the information was entered in a computer spreadsheet for later analysis. Rainfall data was provided by Anthony DeCaro from the Auburn Weather Monitoring Station at the Water Filter Plant on Swift Street. The daily data was converted into weekly totals and entered into the database after the sampling season was done.


The overall conclusion reached from an analysis of the data is that the bacterial water quality of Owasco Lake remains good. The summer of 2008 was another wet year which may be the reason that the fecal Coliform numbers are lower generally than previous years. The weed growth also was not as vigorous this year with the exception of the curly-leafed pond weed that peaked in the late spring displaying areas near the shore that looked brown in color. The Eurasian milfoil was not as prevalent this year as in past years. Algae were noted in a number of areas this year with the blue-green and brown predominating. Generally, if algae were seen at a particular site in June, they were present for the rest of the samplings. Water temperatures seemed to track the rainfall data with a 1 week shift frequently displayed. Even with all the rain recorded this year, the water temperature reached 28 degrees Centigrade on July 16th. Three sites reported that temperature on July 16th. The high temperatures seem to be at odds with the amount of rainfall but it was suggested that the rains came in short, heavy bursts
generally followed by clear, sunny periods.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Owasco Lake Watershed Rules

Did you know that there is a set of laws specifically written to protect the Owasco Lake Watershed?

Section 1100 of the Public Health Law, section 104.1 of Part 104 of Title 10 (Health) of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York sets forth rules that outline the conditions and types of activities allowable within the watershed. The Owasco Watershed Rules and Regulations also set forth the conditions to be met by agricultural and business practices, including how such activities may be conducted, to ensure a pure and safe drinking water supply for Auburn and surrounding towns.

Under the Public Health Law, the City of Auburn is charged with conducting inspections and providing enforcement under these rules. Various other groups and agencies assist the city in this oversight, but the City of Auburn Watershed Inspector is resposnible for any specific citations written under this law. OWLA, Individual Towns , Cayuga County Health Dept., WQMA among many others , monitor activities in the watershed and report any potential problems to the Watershed Inspector for followup.

For more information, go to the following web-sites:

link to the Owasco Lake Watershed Inspector:

link to the official Owasco Lake Watershed Rules:

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Proposed Ban on Phosphorus fertilizer

There is a very interesting article in today's Syracuse Post-Standard detailing a proposed law in Cazenovia to ban fertizlizers with Phosphorus. Ten years ago there were not very many alternatives to phosphorus laden fertilizers. Today it is much different. Most home centers and hardware retailers carry Zero-phosphorus fertilizers. In Cayuga County, you can contact the Soil and Water Conservation District for a ZERO-phosphorous fertizlizer for your lawn. We encourage you to try them.

Cazenovia is one of the first CNY municipalities to consider an outright ban on Phosphorus based fertizlers. It will be interesting to watch what the community's response will be.

Phosphorus run off to Owasco Lake is documented as one of our biggest issues relating to water quality. What do you think about the proposal? Should we try it in the Owasco Lake Watershed?

Get out and enjoy the snow....
- Lakeman

Link to Post_Standard article:

Link to the proposed law:

Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation District's Fertilizer offer:

Watershed Friendly Fertilizer
The Cayuga County Soil & Water Cons. District has available at a reduced price, a ZERO-phosphorous fertizlizer for your lawn. 50 lb. bags are only $10.00 The formulation will provide sustained color and hardiness while eliminating the potential negative effects that excess phosphourus has on water quality. A great way that you can help improve water quality in our watershed.
Contact the CC Soil & Water Cons. Dist.
at 315.252.4171 ext. 3 for more information.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Happy New Year!

We hope you all had a nice Christmas and Holiday season. I had a nice break from work and other obligations, with plenty of time to spend with fanily and friends.

The new year is here and we want to get off to a strong start. Our Next OWLA Board of Directors Meeting to kick off 2009, will be held on Wed. evening February 4th, 7pm at the Springside Inn. The meeting is open to the public, so come and see what we are all about.

(I'll post an agenda from Dr. Joe Wasileski later in the month)

REMINDER - No January Meeting! (Get out and enjoy the snow! - we are!)

Take care,