Saturday, December 11, 2010

Owasco Lake Watershed Management Council formed

Wednesday night at Emerson Park, three municipalities voted to form the Owasco Lake Management council. The Cayuga County Legislator, City of Auburn and Town of Owasco became the founding members. They hope to add the other towns and villages of the Owasco Lake Watershed to the council very soon. The purpose of the council is to oversee watershed protection in the 208 square mile watershed. Owasco Lake is the major water supply for over 50,000 people in Cayuga County. The group also hopes to apply for grants and federal funding to address water quality issues in the watershed. The groups first efforts will be to create its by-laws and a budget.

The Owasco Watershed Lake Association has been pushing for a cooperative approach by all watershed municipalities for many years. We are very hopeful for active participation in the council by all of the government bodies in the watershed.

Read the Auburn Citizen article at the following link:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

County to seek help to protect Owasco Lake

On Tuesday night, OWLA President Joe Wasileski presented the Cayuga County Legislator with a 600 signature petition asking for help in protecting Owasco Lake. Joe detailed some of the issues that are impacting the lakes water quality. In the end, the legislator did vote to apply for a $750,000 grant to help reduce phosphorus and sediment loading in the Owasco Flats.

link to the Auburn Citizen article covering the meeting on Tuesday Nov. 23, 2010:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Presentation of our Owasco Lake Petition to Cayuga County Legislator - 11/23

Please join Joe Wasileski, Jeff Trescott, and Terry Lattimore in presenting OWLA's (600)  member petition at the Cayuga County Legislature meeting on Tuesday November 23rd at 6 PM, on the 6th floor of The Cayuga County Office Bldg.
OWLA would like as many of you as possible to come and support us. Anyone is free to take your turn and speak about Owasco Lake. If you plan to speak, please contact Joe Wasileski (, so we can organize the groups effort.  We need to show the legislator that this community cares about Owasco Lake, so a large turnout would be NICE!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Formation of the Owasco Lake Watershed Management Council.

From Joe Wasileski - OWLA President:

Our OWLA December meeting will be held on Tuesday December 7th - 7pm at Emerson Park pavilion--in conjunction with the Town of Owasco, the City of Auburn and the Cayuga County Legislature's meetings. Other elected officials from surrounding townships around the Lake, will also be present. The purpose of the meeting will be the grand unvieling and ratification of the Owasco Lake Watershed Management Council. This is the plan and proposal, that OWLA has spearheaded, and we have been working on for the last 12 months. I have been attending meetings, formulating the plan  on a bi-weekly basis for the last 7 months. It is a Big Deal and unprecedented to say the least. Owasco Lake has it's problems, but this is a GIANT step to aid our efforts, and at last hold others accountable for determing it's future well being!!!

Stay tuned for more information on the Owasco Lake Watershed Management Council in upcoming blog posts.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

More information on recently identified Invasive's in Owasco Lake

The Auburn Citizen had an article Friday with more information on recently identified Invasive's found in Owasco Lake. The article quoted folks from the Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency stating that the Asian clams and blue green algae in the lake may be related. Read the whole story at:

article link:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Update: Asian Clams found in Owasco Lake

Updates on the Asian Clam discovery in Owasco Lake:

Guidance from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County:

We are asking lakeshore residents to explore their shoreline to see if any Asian clam shells have washed up in the area. Please rake the sediment near and just below the waterline to see if you can find any live clams. If a clam or shell is found that fits the description of an Asian clam, we are asking that you take a photograph or a sample and report it on the Owasco Lake Network at Please contact Jessica Miles in the Owasco Lake Watershed Inspection Program with any questions about identifying clams in Owasco Lake at 252-4171 ext. 120. If you find a clam in a lake that is not Owasco Lake, please call Amy Barra at Cornell Cooperative Extension at 255-1183.

We are asking boaters and people who fish to be extra cautious. We do not yet know the extent of the infestation and are hoping to keep the clams confined to the areas we know they already inhabit. Here are some ways to help stop the spread of the Asian clam:

• Do not keep golden clams in aquariums or water gardens; if you already have them, do not dispose of waste water in or anywhere near a body of water

• Do not dump bait buckets into the lake

• Make sure to fully inspect and clean your boat if it is necessary to move it into an uninfected body of water. Be sure to eliminate water from the equipment and make sure to dry any parts that come into contact with water.

•Remember to never release fish or other aquatic animals into a waterway, unless that is where they came from.

Links to more information and recent news articles:

Clam guidance from OWN:

Asian Clam background from the Finger Lakes Institute:

Auburn Citizen article:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Asian Clams found in Owasco Lake

More disappointing news; Asian clams (Corbicula fluminea) have been found in Owasco Lake. The Owasco Lake Watershed Inspection Program (OLWIP) reported earlier today that recent samples found by a an OWLA water sampler have been confirmed as asian clams. OLWIP and other Cayuga County officials are putting together a response to the issue and will be going public with more detailed information over the next 2-3 days.

OLWIP has been designated as the lead for identifying or answering questions about properly identifying the clams. Please refer any questions to Jessica Miles at OLWIP (315)-252-4171 x 120 or

Stay tuned to this blog for more information and links to keep you informed on this developing issue on our lake.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Potentially toxic algae found in Owasco Lake

Blue-green algae was found in Owasco Lake in late September according to the Cayuga County Health and Human Services Department. Samples taken from the north end of the lake were tested by the NYS Health Department and were confirmed to be the potentially toxic Blue-green algae. The Cayuga County Health Department is cautioning people to not swim, cook or wash with water that has algae in it.

For more information on Blue-green algae go to this NYS Department of Health web-site
 or call the Cayuga County Helath Department at 315-253-1405.

For more details, see the news story at the following links:

WSYR Channel 9:

Auburn Publications:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Owasco River Trail - City awarded grant to study feasability

Local newspapers are reporting this week that the City of Auburn has been awarded a grant to study the feasibility of building an Owasco River trail from Downtown Auburn to Owasco Lake. The grant of $590,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation will be used to hire a consultant to begin the planning for a multi-use trail.

The idea for this trail goes back over 40 years and has been studied several times. This idea has always excited me as a great recreation idea for our community. So I took a few minutes this morning to dig back in my files and find some history on the idea. The first reference I found to an Owasco River plan goes back to 1954. The next was the 1968 Master Plan for Emerson Park that referenced development of recreational areas along the river north of the Emerson Park. In July 1971, the Cayuga County Planning Board published a development proposal which included a plan called "Rediscover the Owasco River". In 1972, the board published a more detailed proposal entitled the "Owasco River Plan. I am not sure what happened with that plan, but I believe it remained on the shelf for another 20 years.

In 1996, The Owasco River Alliance was formed by several community leaders. The purpose of this group was to promote tourism and recreational development along the Owasco River. The idea was to start with the 1972 plan and update it to meet the ideas of the community. In the end, I believe funding became the obstacle to the progression of this effort, although I think this groups efforts helped to drive funding for the rebuilding of the seawall and bridges in Emerson Park.

These recent trail efforts have been an outcome of the development of the City of Auburn's Comprehensive Plan. The plan was a community wide effort to come up with ideas and plans for future development desires of Auburn residents.

We have a great start already with the seawall and rivers trails all the way north to Auburn High School. It would be great to develop bicycle/walking trails that would allow us to enjoy the river from downtown to the lake. Presently, my wife and I "cart" our bikes to Onondaga Lake Park, the Erie Canal trail east of Rochester or the old Erie canal trail between Manlius and Rome to enjoy these types of trails. We typically enjoy a meal and visit local shops while on these trips. It sure would we be nice to stay and spend  in our own county as well as enjoy Auburn's "hometown" beauty.

I really hope that this time, the Owasco River trail from Auburn to Owasco Lake becomes a reality. I know OWLA will be behind the effort 100%. What do you think? Please let us know by posting a comment here.

- Lakeman

Monday, October 11, 2010

Library of Information on Invasive Species

The Finger Lakes Institute (FLI) at Hobart William Smith College has compiled a nice library of information on Aquatic Invasive Species Management. Resources covering milfoil to zebra mussels are available on their web site. There are brochures to aid in in plant identification as well as background research covering invasive species in upstate NY.

Check it out at the link to the FLI web site below:

Also be sure to check out other Finger Lakes environmental activities at FLI by going to their October calendar at :

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Household Hazardous Waste and Home Electronics & Propane Tank Recycling event

Cayuga County's Household Hazardous Waste Day and Home Electronics & Propane Tank Recycling event will take place on Saturday, October 16th. The event provides all City of Auburn and Cayuga County residents the opportunity to dispose of these materials in a safe manner.

This is a great opportunity to properly dispose of those old paints, chemicals and cleaners in your garage or basement! 

Date, Time and Registration:

  • Saturday, October 16, 2010.
  • Everyone Must Register with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County. Please call 315-255-1183.
Acceptable Household Hazardous Wastes Include:

  • Products containing chemicals
  • Oil based paints
  • Turpentine, paint thinners, brush cleaners
  • Pesticides (weed killers, insect sprays, fungicides)
  • Mercury thermometers and barometers
  • Liquid mercury (quick silver)
  • Fluorescent tubes and bulbs (contains mercury)
  • Compact fluorescent bulbs (contains mercury)
  • Liquid Driveway sealer
  • Household cleaners
  • Gasoline
  • Gas/oil, oil/water, gas/water mixtures
  • Antifreeze
  • Mothballs
  • Pool Chemicals
  • Photograph developing chemicals
Look for warnings on labels such as danger, caution, toxic, flammable, corrosive, and reactive. These are hazardous materials that can cause water pollution and human injuries if they are poured on the ground, down the drain, or placed in the trash.

Home Electronics and Propane Tanks

Home electronics*, televisions*, computers*, digital cameras, propane tanks (up to 40 pounds) and small freon appliances* are also accepted.

*$5 fee for each television (limit 2 televisions), and each small freon appliance.

Get more information at the following link:

or call CCE at 315-225-1183 with your questions.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Public Meeting on Hydraulic Fracturing Study

EPA’s Public Meeting on Hydraulic Fracturing Study to
Take Place in Binghamton, New York

                                Meeting Scheduled for September 13 and 15 at the Broome County Forum Theater

Contact (News Media Only): EPA: John Senn, (212) 637-3667,
New York, NY – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has selected a new venue and dates for the public meeting on EPA’s upcoming hydraulic fracturing study originally scheduled for August 12, 2010. The meeting will now be held at the Broome County Forum Theater in Binghamton, New York, on September 13th and 15th, 2010. 

Meeting Information:
EPA will hold four identical sessions during a two day session at the same location:

Date:  Monday, September 13, 2010
Location:  Broome County Forum Theater, 236 Washington St., Binghamton
            •           12:00pm – 4:00pm (pre-registration begins at 10:30am)
            •           6:00pm – 10:00pm (pre-registration begins at 4:30pm)
Date:  Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Location:  Broome County Forum Theater, 236 Washington St., Binghamton
            •           12:00pm – 4:00pm (pre-registration begins at 10:30am)
            •           6:00pm – 10:00pm (pre-registration begins at 4:30pm)

EPA looks forward to receiving more public input on the upcoming research study on the potential relationship between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water.  

For additional questions or comments, please email or call 1-866-477-3635. Meeting information may be found on the EPA Hydraulic Fracturing Study website at

Recycling Event:

Home Electronics, Small Freon Appliances, Fluorescent Bulbs and
Propane Cylinder Recycling Event:
Natural Resource Center

SEPTEMBER 18, 2010

This fall all residents of Cayuga County and the City of Auburn are invited to participate in the Fall 2010 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, September 18, 2010.
  • 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 per TV (limit of 2 TV's per household).
  • $5 fee per small Freon appliance.
  • All other household electronics are free.
  • Propane tanks accepted for free.

Acceptable Household Electronics Include:

  • Computer Equipment
  • Computer Monitors
  • Fluorescent Light Bulbs and CFL bulbs
  • Typewriters
  • Video Game Systems
  • Universal Power Supplies
  • Cell Phones
  • Toner/Ink Cartridges
  • Small Freon Appliances $5 each
  • TV's (Limit 2 per household) $5 each

Also accepted will be:
  • 1 pound to 20 pound propane tanks
  • Hand held cylinders that contained such gases as oxygen, MAPP and helium


This is not our chemical collection event, which is on October 16th. 

For more information check this link:

Thursday, August 26, 2010


An OWLA business meeting is scheduled for this Saturday, August 28, from 9 until 10 a.m. at the Emerson Park covered picnic area nearest the Pavilion.
The regular OWLA meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 1, starting at 6 p.m. at Springside Inn. Ken Lynch from the DEC will present a brief update, and the remainder of the agenda will be announced soon.
And, we need several OWLA members to be present next Thursday, September 2, at 4:30 pm, when the more than 500 signatures on the petition started on Owasco Lake Day will be brought before the Auburn City Council.
Please try to attend both meetings; we will keep the meetings focused on the many issues to be addressed and look forward to seeing OWLA members and friends there.
Norma L. Leone

Upcoming Meetings!

Hi OWLS,  

First of all;
1.  Please come to the special business meeting at Emerson Park this Saturday August 28th from 9-10 AM. We must discuss Owasco Lake Day 2010. and strategy for the rest of the year.      All Board members are requested to be present. others are certainly welcome!!
2.  Our regular September meeting will be focused on conferring with Ken Lynch of the Dec, as to what could be done with Owasco Flats and Dutch Hollow Brook. It will be at 6 pm at Springside on Wed. Sept 1st.  Possibly Mayor Duffy and Andrew Cuomo might attend. The date could change however if necessary.
Please come to this-- to show them that we are indeed a large group. Bruce Natale will be presenting his plans for the areas.
 3. I hope that 5 or 6, or20 of you will volunteer to go with me to City hall on Sept 2nd at 6 PM to read and present our petition of over 500 signatures.  I could use the company.

Thanks in advance!

Joe Wasileski - OWLA President

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Link to John Halfman's latest Owasco Lake Report

John Halfman from the Finger Lakes Institute (FLI) at Hobart & William Smith, presented an update on his recent Owasco Lake testing at this month's OWLA meeting. FLI has been a partner with OWLA in Owasco Lake water quality monitoring for the last 5 years. We have included a link to the Power Point presentation John used at the August 4th meeting below:


Learn more about what is going on at the Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart & William Smith College.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sign our petition for support of Owasco Lake

OWLA needs your help!
The OWLA Board of Directors has put together a petition asking the Town of Owasco and the City of Auburn to support the Watershed Inspector positions and the more water testing.

Details of the petition:

"We, the undersigned, who use Owasco Lake for our drinking water and recreational use, petition the City of Auburn, Town of Owasco, and Cayuga County, to work together to protect and restore our lake.  We want ongoing comprehensive and effective coordination and adequate and sustainable funding to support Owasco Lake Watershed public policies and land use management practices, including: 1. an expanded watershed inspection program; 2.  restart of our year-round professional water testing and analysis program; 3. prompt enforcement  and stoppage of all man-made sources of pollution entering Owasco Lake and its tributaries; 4. restoration of Owasco Flats to its original filtering function; and, update, and full implementation of the 10 year old region-wide Owasco Lake Watershed Management Plan.”

Please come to our next Board meeting on Wednesday August 4th at 7pm at the Sprinside Inn or contact a OWLA board member to get a copy of the petition to sign.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Boater Safety Class

There is a Boater Safety Class coming up on Saturday July 31st. The Cayuga County Sheriff's Department will be holding the class from 8am to 4pm at the Summerhill Town offices on Route 90.  The classes are free and you MUST pre-register. For more information or to register call 315-294-8145.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Owasco Lake Day #3 - A Great Success!

Owasco Lake Day was another resounding success!

OWLA President Joe Wasileski might have said it best:

"We hit a HOME RUN!!! Owasco Lake Day on our WORLD CLASS LAKE  was totally AWESOME !! WE put on a show!!!    Lots of Attention for our cause.  Thanks to EVERYBODY, and I mean EVERYBODY!! who helped make the event so SPECIAL!!   You all are GREAT!! "

Some follow up notes:

John Halfman of the Finger Lakes Institute wanted to make available some of the recent data that he was referencing during his Lake Day presentation. You can find this material at the links below:

1-       My recent report on the Owasco Lake & Watershed data collected since 2007 to satisfy the funding from OWL and the Town of Fleming.  I gave Dr Joe a printed copy of an earlier version.  This version has a few more minor edits (and I’m sure still has a few mistakes).  
2-       I also placed a pdf version of my Owasco Lake Day, 7/1/2010 talk on my web site.  
3-       A chapter for the 2007 FLI Owasco Watershed report on the benthic ecology of the lake.
It can also be found on my website:
"It’s a bit late but better late than never.  It’s probably out of date, as I’m sure quagga mussels have invaded your lake.  One more cha
pter, environmental history from sediment cores, is still under preparation and I’ll send it out when I can. " 

Thanks again to all the OWLA volunteers and Community Leaders who helped put together Owasco Lake Day.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010




Last year many residents started a new tradition called “Ring of Lights” as a way to celebrate the 4th of July and our community-wide commitment to restoring and protecting Owasco Lake. This year this annual tradition will continue on Owasco Lake and region.   Residents and visitors to the region for the holiday are asked to light at least one LED light on Saturday, July 3 at 9:30 p.m., coinciding with the annual fireworks display at Emerson Park. The “Ring of Lights” event is promoted by Owasco Watershed Lake Association (OWLA), and a limited supply of LED lights will be sold on “Owasco Lake Day” at Emerson Park Pavilion, Thursday July 1st during the Resource Fair as part of “Lake Day 2010” that runs from 4 pm – 6:30 pm.   There are a variety of other ways to participate in “Ring of Lights” that are environmentally safe, including: a string of LED Holiday lights, a nylon solar powered LED patio lantern, or a solar LED camping lantern.
Joe Wasileski, OWLA President, said, “We hope that this event will bring greater awareness to improving the quality of Owasco Lake, and while enjoying the Ring of Lights, recognize the enjoyment and pleasure that we all have because of our lake.
The “Ring of Lights” is based on the Native American tradition of lighting fires around the lake to promote unity and celebration of community.    In many lakeside communities, there has been a long-standing tradition of using emergency flares and bonfires to create a ring of fire. The Finger Lakes Institute recommends using LED lights to reduce the significant phosphorus pollution that has been found to result from using fires and flares.  Owasco Lake is the first in our region to promote creating a “Ring of Lights” with environmentally safe alternatives such as LED and solar lights.
 “Whether you live on the lake, drink the water from the lake, or enjoy it recreationally, we hope that this tradition will continue to grow as one unique way to show our community spirit and commitment to Owasco Lake” said Joe Wasileski, President of Owasco Watershed Lake Association (OWLA).
 “We want Owasco Lake to be recognized for creating a new environmentally friendly tradition throughout the region and state.  This is one fun way to demonstrate our commitment to our community, our environment and to working together to improve water quality,” said Wasileski. “Owasco Lake is one of our area’s greatest assets, and we hope this new tradition will continue to grow in future years.”

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Come out to Owasco Lake Day - July 1st!

If you are concerned about the quality of Owasco Lake or the taste of your drinking water, you really need to come out to Emerson Park this Thursday. OWLA and the Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency our sponsoring the Third Annual Owasco Lake Day.

The resource fair starts at 4pm and should be quite informing. Various agencies will have displays covering environmental topics and Owasco Lake.  Bob Menapace will be there with his SCUBA team and weed harvester among others. Several speakers will discuss lake issues beginning at 5pm.

Please come out and learn more about Owasco Lake and show your support for the long-term protection of this jewel!

Thursday, July 1, 2010
4 - 6:30 p.m.
Emerson Park Pavilion

Updates from:
New York State Senator Mike Nozzolio
City of Auburn and Cayuga County Officals
John D. Halfman, Ph.D., Finger Lakes Institute

Resource Fair 4 - 5 p.m.
Speakers 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.
Free Admission . Free Parking

For questions or more information:

Hope to see you on Thursday!
- Lakeman

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Owasco Lake Day!

Come out and show your support for Owasco Lake!

Thursday, July 1, 2010
4 - 6:30 p.m.
Emerson Park Pavilion

Updates from:
New York State Senator Mike Nozzolio
City of Auburn and Cayuga County Officals
John D. Halfman, Ph.D., Finger Lakes Institute

Resource Fair 4 - 5 p.m.
Speakers 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.
Free Admission . Free Parking

For questions or more information:

Get Informed - Get Involved
It’s Your Drinking Water

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Letter to the Editor from OWLA President, Joe Wasileski:


     For the last 20 years OWLA (Owasco Watershed Lake Association) has been testing 26 sites around Owasco Lake for fecal coliforms and turbidity.  Twenty volunteers performed this important work.  This was extremely useful information to many people and agencies including the Cayuga County Health Department and Parks Department and the Finger Lakes Institute.  The actual lab work was performed by the city of Auburn. 
     In July, 2009, the Auburn City Manager sent OWLA a letter which was a termination notice.  Various meetings followed, and it was indeed true.  We were devastated and in a state of disbelief.  It was also noted, that the city manager wanted to re-negotiate the watershed inspector contract.  Auburn and Owasco who are the sole suppliers of drinking water for 50,000 people in this area have the Legal Responsibility for performing inspections of the Watershed of Owasco Lake. 
     Almost a year has passed, along with multiple letters and meetings, and the testing season is now here.  We have met with all four Auburn councilors and the mayor and they unanimously support our position that testing be continued and expanded along with the Watershed Inspector position.  They promised to take action.
     The budget will be decided within the next 10 days.  Please call or write your councilor and the mayor and urge them to reverse this decision and re-instate OWLA water testing and strengthen the Watershed Inspector position.  The monetary amount is indeed minor; as most of it is paid by a pass-through to water users. 
     A penny-wise is a pound foolish when Owasco Lake is concerned.  Our drinking water is indubitably our most precious resource. 

                                                                                                 Sincerely yours,

                                                                                                 Dr. Joseph Wasileski
                                                                                                 (President OWLA)  

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Weeds Watch Out!

Want to help identify and limit the spread of nuisance weeds in the Finger Lakes? Well then check out the Weeds Watch Out program. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County has started a program to train volunteers on how to identify and remove invasive weeds on area waters. Training is happening in three area locations this month. For more information check out a recent Auburn Citizen article or the Weeds Watch Out web-site. Better yet, contact Irene Holak at Cornell Cooperative Extension at 315-255-1183.

Article link:

Weeds Watch Out Web-site link:

Weeds Watch Out! Training Workshops

Training workshops are available to teach volunteers how to:
 - Identify invasive plant varieties, as well as native look-a-likes
 - Monitor the presence or spread of invasive plants along a lakeshore, river, swimming area, or other favorite water body
 - Report the presence of a new infestation early
 - Participate in control measures, such as hand-pulling

Cayuga County Training Dates:
 - June 14th, 2010: 6-7pm at Sterling Nature Center
 - June 18th, 2010: 5:30pm-6:30pm at Emerson Park (within park, $2.00 parking fee)
 - June 19th, 2010: 9-10am at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County, 248 Grant Ave., Auburn

For more information, contact Irene Holak at Cornell Cooperative Extension at 315-255-1183.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Boater Safety Classes in Cayuga County

Two boater safety classes are being offered by the Cayuga County Sheriff's Department:

Saturday June 12th, 8am - 4pm, Owasco Firehouse #1, 7174 Owasco Road, Owasco

Saturday June 19th, 8am- 4pm, Scipio Firehouse,  3550 State Rt. 34, Scipio.

Both class offerings are free, but you must pre-register by calling Deputy John Nedza at 315-294-8145

Monday, May 31, 2010

Beautiful Memorial Day! (Be safe!)

Wow! What a weekend so far!

The is nicest weather for memorial day weekend in many years. I was out on Owasco Lake the past two days and can't believe all the folks who are out on the water. I even went for a swim saturday, a little cool (a passing boater said it was around 68F), but very refreshing with the air temperatures in the 80's.

I did want to make a comment about safety on the water. There are lots of people out in boats, kayaks, jet ski's etc. Make sure you safety gear is all on board and that young people are WEARING life jackets. Please use caution, most people are just getting on the water for the first time this season and may not be at their peak boating potential.

One other CAUTION to those who may be on Owasco after dark: The lighted point marker buoys HAVE NOT been installed yet! Please use extreme caution until they are placed. Hopefully NYS will be out very soon to remedy this situation.

Lastly, Please take a moment to reflect on this very important holiday. Memorial Day is an opportunity to honor those who have given their lives for freedom as well as those who have served in all of the armed services.

Well get out and enjoy this beautiful day!

Have fun and be safe! - Lakeman

Saturday, May 29, 2010

OWLA meeting this Wednesday June 2nd

Messsage from Joe Wasileski - OWLA President:


There will definitely be a meeting this Wednesday, June 2nd at Springside Inn at 7PM.  There is a lot to decide concerning Owasco Lake Day and its particulars.  We are still considering a forum possibility but it will be modified per your suggestions.  THIS COULD BE OUR MOST IMPORTANT MEETING OF THE YEAR!!---so please come and bring your friends.

We also will need your help, DURING the meeting so please come early.  We will be folding 1010 letters to potential members around the lake for our current membership drive.  Please come and help us.  This is the BIG KAHUNA MEETING.-----

                                                                     Thanks,  Joe Waz

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Nice Editorial's in today's Auburn Citizen

There are three nice editorials dealing with Owasco Lake in the Auburn Citizen tonight. One deals with the expansion of the watershed inpsection program in the Owasco Lake watershed. The Owasco Watershed Lake Association is advocating for expansion of the inspection program. 

What do you think? Please leave us your comments on the proposal to have lake water drinkers and users pay a little bit more to protect Owasco Lake.

More Lake Watchers Needed - Guy Consentino (The Auburn Citizen 5/19/10)

If you could call the protection of Owasco Lake a continuing saga, the newest chapter is again about money and how to pay for keeping the lake that has some 45,000 people drinking from it, not only clean, but protected in the long term. It seems clear that we are going to again get to the brink of the lake deteriorating, before we can get local leaders to ensure long term funding to protect it.
In question are letters sent by Auburn City Manager Mark Palesh to local officials about the city’s commitment to the current program, not only of inspections, but also creating a stable funding stream that started with a deal in 2007. Three years ago, state Sen. Michael F. Nozzolio put on the table a one-time funding opportunity to pay for inspections for one year. His condition, after being burned by Cayuga County a few years before on an economic developer position, was that permanent financing for the following two years had to be in place before the state’s money was released. The result was a deal between the City of Auburn and Town of Owasco, both of which draw water from Owasco Lake, to add a surcharge to their billings for users to pay for a single watershed inspector #— far short of what is needed.
This year the deal runs out and while it looks as if the city will still stick with its fee on water, the Town of Owasco is looking to increase their surcharge if the City of Auburn does, in order to add a part-time inspector #— far short of what is needed. With a 208-square-mile watershed, which is larger than neighboring Skaneateles’s which has several more inspectors, the need for more personnel resources is clear.
In question is whether the city, the largest drawer of water, should get more from its citizens, and as one should expect, those it sells water to (i.e. Aurelius, Montezuma, Weedsport, etc). Yet, one key player who has not been involved financially from day one and should be is the county. They slipped through the financial commitment process by instead providing “oversight” and space for the sole watershed inspector (some have felt that the only reason they went that far was that they wanted to keep tabs on the inspector and make sure they didn’t go after some legislators’ constituents).
What has to be remembered is that more than these two municipalities have an interest in a clean watershed. For example, those who draw their water from the lake directly in Moravia, Niles and Scipio, among others, require clean water and should be covering part of that cost. It is time for a permanent, long term, inclusive financial plan to be implemented that includes the county.
Cosentino is a former mayor of Auburn and can be contacted at

Monday, May 10, 2010

Blueprint II group works to protect Owasco Lake

A big thanks goes out to the Blueprint II students who took on a valuable project to protect Owasco Lake. The students, their families and supporters worked to install vegetative buffers in the Owasco Flats this past Saturday. Over 50 people participated in the effort to install various plantings near the Owasco Inlet. See the complete story of the students project from this Sunday's Auburn Citizen at the link below:


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Electronics Recycling Collection - Sat. May 1st, and Sat. May 15th

Home Electronics Recycling Collection Events:

Computers, monitors, fluorescent bulbs, video games, propane tanks, power supplies, televisions ($5 fee), freon appliances ($5 fee). Limit two TV's per household.

May 1st - Town of Scipio Office Complex, Rt 34 & Quarry Road, Scipio, NY
Time: 10:00am- 1:00pm

May 15th - Natural Resources Center, County House Road, Auburn, NY
Time: 9:00am- 1:00pm

For more Information call Cornell Cooperative Extension at 315.255.1183

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth Day!

It all started 40 years ago this week! It was April 22, 1970; the first Earth Day brought citizens around the world out to make a difference to save the earth. I remember being in grade school and we had an entire day field trip to do hands-on water testing and learn about the environment. I never really thought about it, but it must be where and how I got my start!

So what can you do? Start today....turn off that unused light, hang your clothes out on the line to dry, don't print out that report - read it on-line, recycle your cans/bottles/newspapers, etc. Better yet, get involved with the Owasco Watershed Lake Association. Come to our next meeting on May 5th, 7pm at the Springside Inn in Fleming and learn more about how you can help protect Owasco Lake.

Also, be sure to check out the Earth911 web site for lots of "green" ideas and information on recycling.

Get out and enjoy the spring weather..............and be sure to act "green"!

- Lakeman

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Forum to discuss Marcellus Shale gas drilling - April 29th

Gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation has been a hot topic in upstate New York for some time now. Come out on April 29th to learn more about gas drilling in Cayuga County. The forum will include information on  drilling past and  potential, along with resources for landowners and municipalities. Bill Kappell of the US Geological Survey will lead the presentation.

The event will take place from 7-8:30pm Thursday April 29th at Cayuga Community College's Bisgrove Theater, 197 Franklin St., in Auburn.

The forum is being sponsored by the Cayuga County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

2010 Annual Tree, Shrub and Groundcover Sale

If you are looking to add some natural buffer to your stream or lake shore, we have got the deal for you.

The Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation District is holding its Annual Tree, Shrub and Groundcover Sale. The sale includes many species of trees and groundcover that should cover your needs. There are only two weeks left to order your trees and shrubs(deadline is April 30th, 2010).

So check the sale out at the link below and use the handy online order form to place your request with CCSWCD. If you have questions


If you have questions, feel free to contact the Soil and Water Conservation District for more information at 315-252-4171.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

More ways to protect our waters!

There is a new environmental web site that you might want to check out; Green Thumbs for Blue Water . Green Thumbs for Blue Water is an educational program for riparian and lakeshore residents who are concerned about erosion and water quality. The program focuses on the use of backyard buffers to minimize erosion and integrated pest management techniques for maintaining healthy and environmentally-friendly lawns and landscapes.

Green Thumbs for Blue Water is sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County with funding from the Great Lakes Commission. 

Check it out at this link:

Saturday, April 3, 2010

April Events at the Finger Lakes Institute

Sarah Meyer from the Finger Lakes Insititute sent us an update on things going on with FLI, check them out in their news letter from the link below!

April 2010 Happenings

Read the ENTIRE April 2010 Happenings newsletter online at

FLI April Events
·         Saturday, April 10, 10:00 am, Service Through Science: Kashong Conservation Area Cleanup VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!
·         Wednesday, April 14, 7:00 pm, Canandaigua Lake Chapter of Trout Unlimited
·         Saturday, April 17, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Science on Seneca Training Day
·         Tuesday, April 20, 7:00 pm, Preserving the Biological Diversity of the Finger Lakes Region
·         Saturday, April 24, 10:00 am-1:00pm, Service Through Science: Honeoye Lake Roadside Cleanup VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!
·         Sunday, April 25, 9:00 am, Service Through Science: FLI Demonstration Rain Garden and Yard Spring Clean

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Clean Up!

With spring upon us, many of us are starting to think about cleaning up around the home and garage. There are many opportunities to recycle and dispose of wastes in an environmentally friendly manner. In many towns, there are large trash pickups or drop off days. Here in the Town of Niles, we have an excellent program that collects larger trash items one Saturday a month April through September. Check with your town for more information.

Also please review the upcoming events sponsored by the Cayuga County Solid Waste office and visit their web-site for more information on waste removal and recycling.
Link  :

Also call Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County for recycling details or questions at 315.255.1183

Cayuga County 2010 Recycling Events
 - May 1, 2010 North and South Collection Event
Collect home electronics, rechargeable batteries, compact fluorescent bulbs and tubes, propane tanks and small freon appliances at one northern and one southern municipality.

 - May 15, 2010 Earth Week Collection Event
Collect home electronics, rechargeable batteries, compact fluorescent bulbs and tubes, propane tanks and small freon appliances.

 - June 12, 2010 Tire Round-Up
Collect tires.

 - September 18, 2010 Electronics Collection Event
Collect home electronics, rechargeable batteries, compact fluorescent bulbs and tubes, propane tanks and small freon appliances.

 - October 16, 2010 Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event
Collect household hazardous waste. This event requires pre-registration to schedule an appointment.

 - November 13, 2010 America Recycles Day 2010 Event
Collect home electronics, rechargeable batteries, and compact fluorescent bulbs and tubes.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

2010 Renewable Energy Forum in Auburn

Renewable energy information for home owners, farmers and rural landowners. 

WHEN: Saturday, March 20, 2010
WHERE: CayugaOnondaga BOCES
1879 West Genesee Street Road, Auburn, NY 13021
TIME: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
COST: $15/Person, includes materials and lunch
CALL: 315.255.1183 to pre-register

Topics to Include:
What it takes to be a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
Green Building
Geothermally Heated Greenhouses Powered by a Small-Scale Wind Turbine:
Considerations and Opportunities for Growing Willow on Central NY Farmland,
Green Job Opportunities

Sponsored by: Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County

Monday, February 22, 2010

Owasco Watershed Network kick-off this Friday at the APT

IAGT is holding the Owasco Watershed Network (OWN) kick-off celebration this Friday night February 26th, 6:30pm at the Auburn Public Theatre.

The evening includes a demonstration of the OWN web-site along with a special video and book signing by John Francis McCarthy!

See the OWN web-site for more information:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Check it out!...............NEW Owasco Watershed Network web-site

The Institute for the Application of Geospatial Technology at Cayuga Community College, Inc. (IAGT), under a grant provided NY State Senator Nozzolio, has created the OWN Internet portal. OWN (Owasco Watershed Network) was created to share information and connect people interested in the preservation and management of the watershed. To quote the web site further; "OWN is a portal that connects widely varied information and data of interest, importance, and influence to the protection of the lake". I was very impressed with the format and amount of information already available on the site. There are some pretty cool features like the Owasco Watershed viewer. Click our link below to see what OWN is all about.

Please note that the site is still under development and the developers are looking for people to try it out and leave their comments and suggestions. 

Check it out - link to OWN:

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Moravia Central Schools - Stream Team!

There was a very nice article in the Auburn Citizen this week covering an innovative, hands-on environmental education program with children from the Moravia School District. The "Stream Team", left the classroom to work in the field with educators from the Moravia Middle School and Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES. The goal was to learn about science and conservation first hand. Another group of students will continue this program in the spring of 2010.

Our "hats are off" to seventh grade teacher Karen Camp and BOCES environmental educator Ann Moore for their efforts to get kids outside and involved in these innovative environmental education programs. These kind of programs are very important to exposing students to both the science and issues that impact our water quality.

Link to the January 29th, 2010, Auburn Citizen article:

Film on effects of Hydrofracking coming to APT February 5th & 6th

From the APT flyer:

Auburn Public Theater presents the film SPLIT ESTATE which documents the devastating effect that oil and gas drilling is having on the health of families and the environment in the Rocky Mountain West.

FRI • FEB 5 • 8:00pm - followed by a Q&A session about hydrofracking

SAT • FEB 6 • 7:45pm - followed by a Q&A session with Dr. Hilary Lambert, Cayuga Lake Watershed
Network and Helen Slottje, Shaleshock Action Alliance

Monday, January 25, 2010

Whistler Swans on Owasco Lake this past weekend

Did anybody see the Whistler Swans on Owasco Lake Saturday and Sunday?

Two groups totaling about 50, were spotted flying on to the lake both Saturday  and Sunday morning. They were seen on the east side of the lake across from Ensenore.

A few facts: The average weight of the female Whistler Swan is 13 1/2 pounds and males are 15 1/2. Their breeding area is the North American tundra. They are also bred in China. The Whistler Swans winter along both the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts as well as in southern China. The Swans make their nests along shores of lakes or ponds, and occasionally on islands. The female lays from three to five white eggs, which take 30-32 days to incubate. These swans are white with a black beak and a yellow dot below the eye. Normally swans mate once a year and are very protective of their territory during this time. Whistlers mate with one partner for life and don't mate outside their own species.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The debate continues on hydrofracking - where does your elected representative stand?

There is an interesting article on where local representatives stand on hydrofracking in today's Syracuse Post-Standard. As the debate for and against hydrofracking continues across the state, people are trying to better understand the potential economic and environmental impacts. We encourage you to become informed and consider the potential environmental impacts on the Owasco Lake Watershed. Also, please contact your elected representatives and let them know your feelings on this issue.

Link to today's Syracuse Post-Standard article:

Please see our previous blog on this very important topic:

Link to the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Natural Gas Development Resource Center:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

January 2010 Finger Lakes Institute Happenings - See the article on Owasco

January 2010 Happenings
Read the entire FLI Newsletter Here

·         New Release: HWS Professor Brown Publishes Owasco Lake Research

Community Outreach
·         Finger Lakes Research Conference A Success
o   Congratulations to Sam Georgian for winning this year’s Best Student Presentation $100 Award!!
·         Watershed Reps United!
·         January FLI Events
o   January 21- The Geography of Wetlands
o   Save the Dates
Feb. 3- Enhancing Water Quality through Native Plants
Feb. 11- The Geography of Finger Lakes History

Read the entire January 2010 FLI Happenings Newsletter online at  

Sarah A. Meyer

Community Outreach Coordinator
Office: (315) 781-4382
Fax: (315) 781-4399

Finger Lakes Institute
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
601 S. Main Street
Geneva, NY 14456

Recipient of the 2009 ENERGY STAR Small Business Award