Saturday, December 31, 2011

A good year, but big issues remain for 2012

We wrap up the year 2011 with a some good news for Owasco Lake, but also some big challenges for 2012. The Asian Clam Task Force has reacted quickly to the discovery in late 2010 that the Asian clam had been established in Owasco Lake. An inventory of the clams, along with immediate action plans are all very positive movements to correct this serious threat to Owasco Lake water quality. Thanks to our volunteers and municipal officials who jumped in and reacted quickly to this problem.

Also the creation of the Invasive Species task force by the WQMA should help get more attention to the general invasives problem along with starting collaborative efforts on a regional basis.

There were also some very good dialogues between agriculture interests and the community concerned with water quality. Continuing these discussions and efforts to address the larger farms and their waste products are very important to improving water quality in the Fingerlakes.

In the meantime, historical water quality issues such as the Groton Treatment Plant and a specific farm continue to impact Owasco Lake. Going into 2012 we need a renewed effort to address some of the old issues as long as the new challenges.

 If you would like to get involved, or even just learn more about what is going on with Owasco Lake, feel free to join OWLA members as they kick off 2012 with our first meeting in February. The meeting will be at 7pm, Wednesday February 1st at the Springside Inn on West Lake Road in Fleming.

As we close 2011, OWLA would like to thank our membership and volunteers who support the protection and improvement of water quality in the Owasco Lake Watershed.
Happy New Year!

- Lakeman

Saturday, December 10, 2011

2011 Owasco Lake Water Quality Report

2011 Owasco Lake Water Quality Report

Dr, John Halfman of the Fingerlakes Institute at Hobart-William Smith College presented his latest findings at the  OWLA meeting this past Wednesday. Dr. Halfman emphasized the need to enhance our efforts to improve and protect Owasco Lake's water quality.

See the presentation:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

2011 OWLA Water testing summary

A summary of the 2011 OWLA water testing data was released last week. The testing this year on Owasco Lake was conducted between June 28th and September 13th. The continued resources and financial support for this program from both the public and private sector is encouraging. The bad news is that water quality in certain areas continues to degrade.

Thanks to Dick Coalson for again helping to coordinate our water testing efforts and putting together an excellent summary of the 2011 data.

See the complete 2011 summary at:

Saturday, November 26, 2011

New Lake report by Dr. John Halfman at Dec. OWLA meeting

New Lake report by Halfman on agenda
The December OWLA meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 7, at 7 pm, at Springside Inn, 6141 West Lake Road, Auburn.
The OWLA meeting will feature a presentation by Dr. John Halfman titled “Nutrient Sources to and their Impact on Owasco Lake: The 2011 Update.”
Dr. Halfman’s presentation will be preceded by an OWLA business meeting from 5:45 - 6:30 pm. Members and guests are welcome to have dinner during the meeting. If you plan to have dinner during the meeting, please call Springside at 252-7247 and arrive by 5:15 pm.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

YMCA takes over Camp Rotary on Owasco Lake

Great news this week that Camp Rotary, the Boy Scout Camp on Owasco lake will remain accessible by young campers in Cayuga County. After several years of litigation, local interests negotiated the successful transfer of Camp Rotary to the Auburn YMCA. The camp will be added to the adjacent YMCA property in the Town of Niles.

This is an important property on Owasco Lake and keeping it as a camp, is a big win for the youth of Cayuga County and the future of Owasco Lake.

Thanks to the Owasco Camp Association and local leaders who have advocated for this important settlement with Boy Scouts of America Longhouse Council ( former Hiawatha Council).

Read more in the Auburn Citizen article:

Friday, October 21, 2011

New USDA Report Shows Conservation Practices Reducing Sediment, Nitrogen and Phosphorus

A new USDA study shows that farmers using combinations of erosion-control and nutrient-management practices on cultivated cropland are reducing losses of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorous from farm fields and decreasing the movement of these materials to the Great Lakes and their associated waterways.
“The Great Lakes Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) study confirms that good conservation planning and implementation have reduced loadings of sediment and nutrients to waterways throughout the region,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today. “The Administration appreciates the actions of every farmer who is stepping up to implement conservation practices, protect vital farmlands and strengthen local economies. At the same time, we also see opportunities for even further progress.”
OWLA supports these efforts in the Owasco Lake watershed and we hope more of these efforts can be continued in all of the FingerLakes watersheds. 
Read more at:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ceremony to Honor Lake Advocates

Owasco Flats Nature Reserve and Owasco Watershed Lake Association
Invite you to celebrate the lives of the late
Dr. Joseph Wasileski and Pamela Sullivan
on October 16th, 2011
1:00 pm- 2:30 pm
Dr. Wasileski (Dr. Joe) and Ms. Sullivan (Pamela) recently left this earth, after having devoted much of their lives as stewards of Owasco Lake.  Their stewardship efforts were instrumental in improving the water quality and educating the public and our elected officials on what was needed to be done to accomplish these goals through the Owasco Watershed Lake Association. 
Both Dr. Joe and Pamela were long time supporters of and participated in the Swim Owasco events, attended the Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency meetings and supported the Owasco Flats Nature Reserve efforts to restore wetlands for water quality and wildlife habitat.  They were most successful at being our voice, our leaders in the fight to improve Owasco Lake for future generations. Their leadership will be sorely missed.

We have selected October 16, 2011 from 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm to celebrate the lives of these two very special people.  We will be gathering for the event at the Owasco Flats Nature Reserve, Route 38 parking area and kiosk at 1:00 pm, with the program commencing shortly thereafter. This is a rain or shine event. Cider and a snack will be available. Please bring chairs for sitting, your own cup for cider (or your own refreshments) and an umbrella to keep you dry if raining. Hope to see you there!
We are collecting photographs, so if you have any that you would like to share please send them to

For more information contact OFNR  Chair
Sandie Doran at

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Owasco Lake level to be lowered to 709'

The City of Auburn will be lowering the level on Owasco Lake to 709' in an effort to kill off Asian Clams. The idea is to kill the clams by freezing the clams this winter. Plans are to begin dropping the lake as soon as the water temperature drops below 50 degrees F. It will take several months to reach the 709' level.

Though the lake has been to this lower level a few times before, residents who have water lines in the lake may want to confirm that this lower than usual level will not affect their ability to draw water from the lake.

See the Auburn Citizen article at :

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Back-to-School "Electronics Plus" Collection Event

Natural Resource Center

October 1, 2011

This fall all residents of Cayuga County and the City of Auburn are invited to participate in the Fall 2011 Back-to-School "Electronics Plus" 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.

Saturday, October 1, 2011.

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.

We are accepting:
Televisions for FREE!
Computer monitors for FREE!
All other electronics for FREE!
Fluorescent bulbs and CFLs for FREE!
Household batteries for FREE!
Propane tanks for FREE!


Small Freon appliance for $5 each
Acceptable Household Electronics Include:
Computer Equipment
Computer Monitors
Fluorescent Light Bulbs and CFL bulbs
Video Game Systems
Universal Power Supplies
Cell Phones
Toner/Ink Cartridges
Small Freon Appliances for $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 22, 2011. Click here for more details.

Learn more here:

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 Cayuga County Cooperative Extension at 315-255-1183, or email

This event is sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County, Cayuga County Solid Waste Management Program Office, Cayuga County Department of Planning and Economic Development and hosted by the Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Funding for the event is provided by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Cayuga County and Nucor Steel-Auburn.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fall Bird Watching trip at the Owasco Flats

Birding at the Flats this Sun 9/25 7:00 am - 12:00 pm

Reminder - There will be Fall Bird Watching trip at the Flats and other local areas Sunday morning at 7:00 am.  We will spend the morning walking the Flats trail and if time permits, head to other local birding areas. Bring binoculars, drink and a snack. Meet at Route 38 pull off parking area near kiosk.  Noelle Rayman, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and OFNR Volunteer.  Rain or shine.
Please contact us if you have any questions. 
Sandie Doran

Monday, September 5, 2011

OWLA Board Meeting Wed. Sept. 7th

The monthly OWLA Board of Directors meeting will be held this Wednesday September 7th - 7pm at the Springside Inn on Rt. 38 in Fleming. Members and the Public are invited. 

Happy Labor Day!

Well, it is not the nicest Labor Day morning but at least we had a nice few days leading up to it!

As our Owasco Lake summer winds down, we want to take a moment to say Thanks to all our volunteers that give of their time to help protect Owasco Lake and its watershed.

So to our volunteers who made Lake Day 2011 a success, to those who have supported our water testing program, the folks working on our asian clam response and to our Board of Directors who keep this organization running, Thank you all!

- Lakeman

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Owasco Lake Day will be held on Sunday, August 7, from 12 noon until 5 pm at Emerson Park and Pavilion, and an updated schedule has been announced by the co-sponsor; Owasco Watershed Lake Association.

            Opening ceremonies will be held in the Pavilion at 12:30 pm and will feature remarks from New York State senator Mike Nozzolio and County and City officials.

            The free pontoon boat rides will begin at 1 pm and continue until 5 pm. The Sheriff’s boat will be on display and offering boating safety information from 3 to 4 pm,  and fire and rescue boats and fire trucks from Owasco, Fleming and Auburn are expected to be on display during the afternoon. Poppy’s ice cream and Chobani’s yogurt will be available, in addition to picnic foods.

            New to the speakers agenda is a talk at 3:30 pm on Asian clams in Owasco Lake, given by environmental engineer Bruce Natale, Chair, Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency.

            A Resource Fair will include information, displays and demonstrations related to Owasco Lake, the environment and the community. Participants include the Owasco Lake Watershed Inspector program and Cornell Cooperative Extension, who will have a watershed model that displays how runoff from storm events affects the Lake, and brochures and information from the Owasco Flats Nature Reserve, American Farmland Trust, Swim Owasco, several Cayuga County Water Quality Managements programs, and  others.

            Owasco Lake Day is free and open to the public. Parking at Emerson Park is free for those attending the event by notifying the park attendant at the entrance.

For more information: Norma Leone 585-385-1269 or 585-749-8784
                                                Carolyn Hiza 315-283-8419

Friday, July 22, 2011

Owasco Lake Day - August 7th

4th Annual - Owasco Lake Day
Sunday August 7, 2011
Noon - 5:00 p.m.
Emerson Park

"A Family Day at the Park"

Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency
Owasco Watershed Lake Association

Free Admission
Free Parking*
Free Pontoon Boat Rides (at the boat launch)
Free Swimming
Fire/ Rescue Boat Demos - 2-3pm (in front of the main bathing beach)
Sheriff's Boat display - 3-4pm (at the boat launch)
Picnic Food Available** (on the porch)

Tentative Schedule of Programs at the Pavilion:
12:30 pm Opening Ceremonies:
NY State, Cayuga County and City of Auburn Officials - opening words by NY State Senator Mike Nozzolio
1:30 pm Judy Wright, American Farmland Trust
2:30 pm John D. Halfman, Ph.D.
Finger Lakes Institute
3:30 pm TBA

Resource Fair (displays by various local groups and agencies):
Noon - 5:00 p.m.

* Free parking if attending Lake Day, but you must notify person at the park gate that you are attending the Lake Day celebration.

** The Springside Inn will serve picnic food on the porch of the Pavilion.
The menu will include hot dogs, hamburgs, sausage with peppers and onions, salt potatoes, macaroni salad, baked beans, and bottled water.

Contact us with questions at: 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lake Day Planning Meeting on Saturday 7/23

Dear OWLA members and friends,
A reminder: a very important Lake Day Meeting will be held  on Saturday, July 23, at 9 am at Emerson Park.
Lake Day is only about 2 weeks away, and we need your help in firming up plans for this important event.
We need many members to help on Lake Day, and we also need people to help with distribution of posters.
Posters (full page and half page) are available at the Lake Day meeting or at Auburn Document Centre, 74 Genesee Street (Phoenix Bldg) from 8:30 am - 6 pm Monday - Friday (closed weekends).
Please be there on Saturday, July 23, at 9 am.

See you there on Saturday!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Weeds, Weeds, Weeds....

It is amazing how fast the weeds have come upon us this year. Many areas around the lake are experiencing record setting weed growth, along with more varieties. The Cayuga County Soil and Water district weed harvester has been on Owasco Lake the last 2 weeks and will be heading for Cayuga Lake at the end of this week. They hope to be back on Owasco in late August for a follow up cutting.

In discussion with the weed harvester operator, he did have a few requests for lakeside owners. It would be a big help if more people would mark their water lines and other under water accessories so they can be easily seen and avoided by the weed cutter bar. Not only is your water line or other object damaged, but the weed cutter can also be damaged. Since the county has only one weed harvester, any downtime for repairs cuts into the weed team's progress in controlling weeds on our lake.

Learn more about weeds at the following links:

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dead fish washing up around lake

We have received  a few calls over the last several days about dead fish washing up on the shores around Owasco Lake. The Owasco watershed inspector Jessica Reinhart has indicated that at this point there is not a cause for concern. Officials believe that the dead fish are most likely the result of a virus. There have also been similar reports of dead fish on Cayuga Lake. The Auburn Citizen has a nice article this morning explaining the situation. Read the article at:

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fourth of July Boat display - want to join them?

This years fireworks show at Emerson Park will be complimented by a private boat display entitled  “Electric Patriotism.”
A pontoon boat adorned with over 6,000 red, white and blue L.E.D. lights will again be touring the waterways during the evening celebration (weather permitting). This will be the 5th year of this display along with the fireworks at the park.
This year’s display will include a nearly doubled light count and computer programmed display set to patriotic themed country, rock and orchestral music. The program will be broadcast throughout the park area during the evening of July 3. Everyone is invited to bring a radio and tune into 89.5 FM to hear the evening’s local broadcast.
Durland Krickovich and his electrician, “Sparky” are coordinating this event. The display has grown from hand switching a dozen or so light sets to quite a complicated technical marvel, thanks to the guidance of Steve Atkins from Owasco.

The founders of the display would like to invite others to join in by lighting their boats. Their hope is to start a friendly, local competition and a patriotic boat parade tradition for future years. 

Those interested can contact them by email with questions —

Read their letter in the Auburn Citizen:  

Monday, June 20, 2011

Owasco Lake Day 2011

Dear OWLA members and friends,

Plans for Lake Day are progressing well, but final plans and many details need to be worked out. Much help is still needed to carry out the planned activities.

We need you to help – by coming to the Lake Day meeting on Saturday, June 25, at Emerson Park (at the picnic tables under the covered area closest to Pavilion), from 9 until 10 am.

Info and updates will continue at the OWLA monthly meeting on Wednesday, July 6, at 7 pm at Springside Inn.

Here’s the Lake Day 2011 TENTATIVE SCHEDULE AND PLAN AS OF 06/15/11:

“A Day at the Park”
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Noon until 5 pm

Free admission Free parking
Scheduled Events, Noon - 5 pm:

Family Events
• Free Swimming
• Free Pontoon boat rides

Events scheduled for times to be announced:
• Speakers (updates and information on Lake) and Q&A sessions
• Resource Fair (exhibits/information related to Lake and environment)

Picnic style food available to buy - Noon until 5 pm
Park open regular hours all day, but Lake Day events scheduled from 12 - 5 pm only
Be there on Saturday, June 25 to hear more about the info above and how you can help. And
check for updates on the new OWLA Blog and web site at

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Help us with Lake Day 2011!

Dear OWLA members,

Plans are underway for Owasco Lake Day 2011, which will be held on Sunday afternoon, August 7, at Emerson Park. This year’s event will focus on family activities, such as a fishing derby, boat rides, and the like, and will also include updates and plans for OWLA’s ongoing efforts to preserve and protect Owasco Lake.

There is much to be done in a short amount of time, and we want your help.

We need you to come to a very important meeting on Wednesday, June 15, at 7 pm at Springside Inn to hear details about Owasco Lake Day 2011 and to join us in putting on this year’s Lake Day.

The meeting should only take about an hour, and this important (and fun!) community event needs help from all OWLA members to make it a success.

Charlie Greene

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Owasco Flats Restoration


In the spring of 2011, Cayuga County received $712,500 in funds from the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation’s Green Innovation Grant Program for the Owasco Flats Wetland Restoration and Riparian Buffers Initiative. This project will be located on City of Auburn owned land off of Route 38 in the Town of Moravia. A portion of the Owasco Inlet will be reconnected with its floodplain with water control structures and the water will flow into existing and created wetlands to filter out nutrients and sediment. Riparian buffers will also be planted along agricultural drainage ways and along the Owasco Inlet to further reduce nutrients and sediment inputs. This work will also improve habitat for invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians and birds while reducing phosphorus and sediment that reaches Owasco Lake. The overall objective of restoration efforts is to reduce phosphorus and sediment loads to Owasco Lake. (Link to the Auburn Citizen article from 4/26/11:)

Since its inception, the Owasco Lake Watershed Association has supported the restoration of the Owasco Flats. OWLA has helped finance land-use studies, road improvements and informational sign placement in this special area. Continuing this support, we will be soon be mailing all OWLA members with a copy of the inaugural newsletter from the Owasco Flats Nature Reserve.


The Owasco Flats encompass approximately 1,500 acres of land within the Owasco Inlet floodplain. The Owasco Flats occur within the valley of the Owasco Inlet. As the name suggests, the topography of the Flats is almost level, with a change in elevation of less than 20 feet over the 2.8 miles between the southern end of Owasco Lake and the northwestern portion of the Village of Moravia and across the approximately 0.6-mile valley width. Land cover within the Flats includes swamps, forest, emergent marsh, active agricultural fields, successional old field communities, and sparse residential development. The Flats support 11 identified ecological communities and provide habitat for a wide diversity of plants and animals, including a number of state and federally protected species.

Almost the entire Owasco Flats and roughly half of the Village of Moravia occur within a 100-year floodplain. Natural functions of a floodplain include temporary storage of floodwaters, attenuation of peak flows, water quality improvement, and groundwater recharge, among many others. When undisturbed by human activities, the low lying, flat expanses of floodplains reduce sediment and nutrient loading by slowing down the velocity of water as it approaches the receiving water body, allowing sediment to settle and nutrients to be absorbed by floodplain vegetation.

However, the functionality of the floodplain wetlands has been compromised by human activity. Prior to the onset of agriculture, the Flats most likely consisted of a forested ecosystem that did not contain the present-
day diversity of ecological communities that have inadvertently resulted from the area’s agricultural history (e.g., clearing areas for agricultural fields that have since been left fallow). As the area slowly reverts to a forested landscape, a reduction of the present-day diversity of plants and animals may occur.

Prior to departing the Owasco Lake Watershed in the late 1700’s, the Cayuga Indians had an effect on the Owasco Flats ecosystem. The Cayugas subsisted on hunting and fishing, and cultivating corn, beans, pumpkins, tobacco, sunflowers, hemp, and fruit trees. Clearing and cultivation of the Owasco Flats by Native Americans created a rich meadowland throughout much of the area. The Village of Moravia was originally called Owasco Flats but was re-named Moravia in 1819.

The Southern Central Railroad was completed and opened in 1869. It passed through the western portion of the Town of Moravia along the valley of the Owasco Inlet and crossed the Inlet at two locations. The railroad made significant efforts to control the course of the Owasco Inlet.

The City of Auburn began managing the lake levels in 1886. As a result of industrial water use, the lake levels were drawn down significantly during the summer season in the 1800’s/early 1900’s before electricity became available from other sources. The summer drawdowns provided drier soils for agricultural use in the Flats during this time period. In some areas, additional wetlands have been drained for the purposes of agricultural use.

In 1938, aerial photographs reveal that approximately 70% of the land was cleared for agricultural use. Since that time, some of the wetter land has been allowed to revert back to forest and shallow marsh so that now only about 25% of the land is classified by the Cayuga County Real Property Services database as agricultural. Much of the land that was apparently actively engaged in agriculture in 1938 is now used intermittently for pasture, hay or is fallow; the rest of the Flats today is covered by forest (30%) and open marshland (20%).

In addition, the Owasco Inlet was hydrologically separated from the Owasco Flats floodplain as a result of 1948 and 1960 Army Corps of Engineers flood control projects along the Owasco Inlet, Mill Creek, and Dry Creek in the Village of Moravia. “Improvements” to the Inlet included widening and straightening of the channel, enlargement of bridge openings, and removal of trees, gravel bars, and debris jams. Today, the Flats’ wetlands no longer filter floodwaters before they enter Owasco Lake to the extent that they would under more natural conditions, thereby increasing sediment and nutrient loads and impairing the water quality of the lake.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Upcoming Boater Safety Classes

The Cayuga County Sheriff's Department will be holding three Boater Safety classes during June and July.

June 18th - 8am -4pm, at the Ira Fire Dept. Route 176 in Cato.

July 9th - 8am -4pm, at the Summerhill Town Hall on Route 90.

July 16th - 8am -4pm, at the Owasco Fire Dept. on Owasco Road, Auburn.

Class size is limited and registration is required by calling Deputy John Nezda at 315.294.8145. The courses are free, but adults will be charged a $10 filing fee when filing for formal credit from the State of NY.

For more information on upcoming classes check out this link:

Friday, May 27, 2011

OWLA meeting - June 1st - Learn more about the Asian Clam

This months OWLA meeting will be on Wednesday June 1st, 7pm at the Springside Inn on Rt 38 in Fleming. There will be an Asian Clam identification training session and Asian Clam update. Dr. Dave MacNeill will be presenting a presentation on ways to identify Asian clams. Also we will be working on planning the Owasco Lake Day event scheduled for August 7th. As always, the public is invited to attend.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Beautiful Day!

Today was gorgeous on the lake! We put some dock in the lake late this afternoon and were impressed with the solitude and beauty.

Temperatures in the 70's, very little if any breeze, the lake was flat. A water skiers dream! The water is still pretty cool but it is warming up fairly fast.  Measured the water temperature and got 57F down 4 feet, and 63F on the surface. Don't forget to wear your PFD's(life jackets) if you are out in the kayak, canoe or boat.

Things look to be shaping up for the holiday weekend. Please be careful out there, and enjoy our beatiful lake!

- Lakeman

Monday, May 23, 2011

Updated OWLA web site on the way

The Owasco Watershed Lake Association is in the process of an update to its web site. Though the present website has served us well, we are in the process of giving it a fresh look, on-line membership renewals and access to social media links for Facebook and Twitter.

There may be temporary gaps in service to the OWLA website over the next few weeks. Please be patient with us as we complete the cut over to the new site. As always you can get the latest Owasco Lake News from this blog or follow us on Facebook.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Drilling Wastewater Rally on Thursday June 2nd

The debate continues on the effect of drilling wastewater in New York State and its impact on water quality. The Auburn City Council discussed the topic briefly in their meeting yesterday, but took no action. CAFA is very concerned with well wastewater presently being treated at the Auburn Sewage Treatment Plant.

Terry Cuddy of the Cayuga Anti-Fracking Alliance has announced a rally at Auburn City Hall next Thursday to protest the City's acceptance of well wastewater.  If you are interested and want to learn more, get to the rally and sign their petition.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Agriculture forums this month

On May 24th and 25th, 2011 The American Farmland Trust is hosting two public forums entitled "Strengthening Agriculture's Role in Protecting Water Quality in the Owasco Lake Watershed". This is an opportunity for officials, residents, farmers and others interested in agriculture's impact on water quality to discuss how all groups can work together to protect water quality in the Owasco Lake Watershed.

Tuesday, May 24th—Moravia Fire House
7:00 pm— 8:30p.m.
38 Keeler Ave., Off of State Rt. 38, Moravia

Wednesday, May 25th 2011— Owasco Fire House, Station #1
7:00 pm— 8:30p.m.
7174 Owasco Rd., Auburn

This forum will focus on agriculture’s role in protecting
Owasco Lake with an opportunity for input about
effective ways to protect water quality.

For more information or to register for
this free forum contact:
Judy Wright, at 315-730-4505
or email

Pre-registration requested by May 23rd
Light refreshments will be served

For more details visit:

Monday, May 16, 2011

Great Recycling Event!

The Cayuga County Electronics recycling event this past Saturday was a huge success. Long lines of vehicles were apparent for most of the day at the BOCES facility on West Genesee St. in Aurelius. The good news was that line moved fairly quickly and my wait was only about 30-40 minutes. The Staff and volunteers were kept very busy unloading cars loaded with old TV's, batteries, computers and light bulbs. The annual recycling event is intended to keep these types of products out of our limited land fill space and to also prevent possible ground water contamination. Thanks to all the various agency staff, volunteers and participants for all doing their part to recycle in Cayuga County.

To learn more about recycling in Cayuga County, visit the CC Planning Dept. website:

Also watch for more news about future recycling events here.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Owasco Lake boating ban lifted

The Auburn Citizen is reporting this morning that the boating ban on Owasco Lake has been lifted. The ban was posted last weekend because of high water on local waters.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Do-It-Yourself Water Quality

Are you interested in what you or your town can do to improve water quality?

The Fund for Lake George has created a publication that will help you learn more about land management and development techniques that can improve water quality. The publication titled "Do-It-Yourself Water Quality" was recently published by this very active environmental group in eastern NY.

While directed at Lake George, all of its suggestions apply very well to water bodies here in the Fingerlakes. Topics such as septic system maintenance, creating stream or shoreline buffers and the proper use of fertilizers are well documented in this 60 page color document.

Check it out at:

This group's website also has a lot of other great information on protecting water quality. Their fact sheets are very well done and cover many interesting topics. Link:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Boater Safety Classes

Upcoming Cayuga County Boater Safety Courses:

Sunday, May 15, 2011Bass Pro, FingerLakes Mall, Auburn (Cayuga)Instructor: Gray, Ralph (315)258-2700This class is for adults and children, register at customer serviceThe instructor charges a fee for this course. If you are over 18 in addition to the class fee you will be required to pay NYS Parks a $10.00 fee for your boating safety certificate.

Sat. May 28th, 2011 from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Scipio Fire Department, 3550 State Route 34, Scipio Center, NY. 
Contact Deputy John Nedza at 315 294-8145 to reserve a seat.  Space is limited so reservations are required. Learn more: 
Sunday, June 05, 2011
Cayuga Comm. College, Auburn (Cayuga)Instructors: Stiver, Leonard (315)255-1743This class is for adults and children.The instructor charges a fee for this course. If you are over 18 in addition to the class fee you will be required to pay NYS Parks a $10.00 fee for your boating safety certificate.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sheriff warns - No Unnecessary Boating

Cayuga County Sheriff David Gould has announced a No Unnecessary Boating warning on Cayuga County waters until the high waters recede. Recent heavy rains in the area have caused local waters to rise and has also brought large amounts of debris to our waterways. Over 3.5" of rain have fallen at Owasco Lake over the past week. The Owasco Lake level at 5:00am today was 713.65'.

Link to Auburn Citizen article:

Friday, April 29, 2011

High water on Owasco - missing a dock?

Owasco Lake was at 713.91' this morning. We have received over 3.5" of rain over the last week.

If anyone is missing a complete "L" layout dock this morning, e-mail us at and we can point you to its location.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Funding awarded for Owasco Flats

 The Owasco Flats restoration project became a reality yesterday. A grant of $712,500 from the Green Infrastructure Program of the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation was awarded to Cayuga County. The funding will be used to stabilize the banks of the Owasco Inlet and also restore much of the wetlands in the Owasco Flats at the south end of Owasco Lake. The overall intent of the project will be to restore the filtering ability of the Owasco Flats in high water events.

This is an important project to improve Owasco Lake water quality. Congratulations to all the government agencies involved in putting together this grant application!

Link to the Auburn Citizen article:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Owasco Lake loses it's biggest advocate

I regret to report the untimely passing of OWLA's President - Joe Wasileski. Joe passed away unexpectedly earlier this week. 

Joe had been one of the strongest advocates for Owasco Lake.  He was a founding member of the association and served as either a board member or officer since OWLA's formation in 1988. Joe always had a smile for everyone and his passion for life was contagious. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. Joe will be sorely missed!

The calling hours are on Friday, April 22 from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm at White Chapel Funeral Home located at 197 South Street in Auburn.

The funeral sevices will be on Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 1:00 pm at Sacred Heart Church located at 90 Melrose in Auburn, New York. 

Link to Auburn Citizen article:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New Lake George Asian Clam web site

Asian clams were found in Lake George last August. The Lake George Asian Clam Rapid Response Task Force was quickly formed by a number of local, regional, and state agencies and organizations. The Task Force’s main goal is to coordinate efforts to eradicate this new invader from Lake George before it has a chance to establish a permanent population. 

The Lake George Asian Clam Rapid Response Task Force (LGACRRTF) has created a new web site to educate and keep people informed about the Asian clam response in Lake George. The LGACRRTF has organized an eradication plan for the Asian clam planned for April - July of 2011.

With Owasco Lake now facing a similar challenge, we should all learn more about the Asian Clam and the complexities involved with managing the infestation. Check it out:

Lake George Asian Clam Rapid Response Task Force (LGACRRTF) web-site:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Owasco Flats

It's spring and with the recent warmer temperatures we are all thinking about getting outside for some recreation. One pretty neat place to visit to fish, hike or canoe/kayak is the Owasco Flats Preserve at the south end of Owasco Lake. If you go you may see heron, muskrat, beaver, deer or turkey. The Owasco Flats is a unique area that you really need to get out and see. The Owasco Flats are located off of Rt. 38 north of Moravia - see the directions below:

From Rochester or Syracuse: Take the New York State Thruway to Weedsport (Exit 40). Take Rt. 34 South to Auburn. Follow Rt. 34 & 38 South (South Street) to Swift Street (Rt. 38 South). Take Swift Street East to Lake Ave. Turn right and continue South on Rt. 38 past the High School to the traffic circle. Continue around the traffic circle and to Route 38, to Moravia. Turn left on Fire Lane 2A, veer to the right at the bottom of the hill and take the dirt road in to the Cayuga County Park. The launch is at the end of the road. 

From Ithaca: Take Rt. 34 North to Route 90-East to Route 38-North. Take Route 38 through the Village of Moravia. Turn left on Fire Lane 2A, veer to the right at the bottom of the hill and take the dirt road in to the Cayuga County Park. The launch is at the end of the road.

Check out the links below to learn more about the Owasco Flats:

Owasco Flats blog:

Cayuga County Parks and Trails web site:

Link to the Owasco section of the I Love the Fingerlakes web site:

Link to proposed NYSDEC Owasco Flats Management Plan:

Link to CNY Regional Planning Owasco Flats study:

Guidebook to hiking Owasco Flats Trail:
"Take A Hike - Family Walks in New York's Finger Lakes Region"
Guidebook to paddling Owasco Inlet through Owasco Flats :
"Take A Paddle - Finger Lakes New York Quiet Water for Canoes & Kayaks

Friday, April 8, 2011

Upcoming electronics recycling event

The first Cayuga County recycling event of 2011 is coming up soon. 

Earth Week "Electronics Plus" Collection Event takes place on May 14th.

This spring all residents of Cayuga County and the City of Auburn are invited to participate in the 2011 Earth Week "Electronics Plus" 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 14, 2011.
  • Running from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES Campus located at 1879 W Genesee Street Rd, Auburn.

  • $5 fee per large floor model copiers.
  • $5 fee per small Freon appliance such as air conditioners, dehumidifiers and dorm-sized refrigerators. No freon appliance weighing more than 40 pounds will be accepted. Click here for information on disposing of freon appliances weighing more than 40 pounds.
  • Charges may apply for equipment from businesses with more than 50 employees at the contractor's discretion.
  • All other household electronics are free.
  • Propane tanks, bulbs, and battries accepted for free.

This event is sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County, Cayuga County Solid Waste Management Program Office, Cayuga County Department of Planning and Economic Development and hosted by the Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES.

Funding for the event is provided by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Cayuga County and Nucor Steel-Auburn.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

OWLA April meeting change

The OWLA meeting has been changed to, Wednesday 4.13.11. We are most fortunate to have David Decker (Director of the Lake George Coalition) speaking at the OWLA’s April meeting on April 13th.  The Lake George Watershed has long been supported by active watershed stewardship, and the Lake George Coalition is currently mounting an active response to a significant increase in that Lake’s Asian clam  population. Come learn about how Lake George is responding to this new invasive that has also been recently found in Owasco Lake.

Please note the change - April OWLA meeting will be at the Springside Inn on 4.13.11 at 7pm.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Learn more about Wetlands

Our Wetlands:  A Community Treasure

The Cayuga Lake Watershed Network and the Montezuma Audubon Center in Savannah, NY will host talks and a tour about local wetlands on April 9th, 2011.  For complete details on the ***free*** Symposium please see

Refreshments and coffee         9:00 am 
Welcomes and Introductions  9:30 am 
Presentations                          10:00 am.
Lunch                                      1:10 pm
Walking Tour                           2:00 pm

Howard Goebel, from New York State Canal Corporation (NYSCC), will talk about the challenges of managing lake levels, especially during heavy rains or snowmelt.  The Canal is managed for recreational activities, protection of property and maintenance of habitat – it is a daunting mission.

Sarah Fleming, from Ducks Unlimited, will review the status of water fowl populations in the area and the importance of Montezuma to these birds.  Ducks Unlimited mission is to conserve, restore, and manage wetlands and associated habitats for North America's waterfowl.

Zachary Odell will cover The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) role in wetland management.  TNC has acquired more than 3,000 acres of property at Montezuma.  TNC partnered with Ducks Unlimited in 2000 to expand the refuge.  It also owns the Carncross Salt Marsh within the refuge. 

Tony Eallonardo will talk more about the salt marsh; its history, cultural and economic impacts and unique species. 

There will also be a chance to talk to representatives from the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Bureau of Wildlife, Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, Montezuma Audubon Center, Cayuga Lake Watershed Network and the Cayuga Lake Intermunicipal Organization.

Coffee will be provided from 9-9:30 by the Friends of Montezuma.  During this time there will be an opportunity to purchase a lunch, or you may bring your own.  Refreshments mid-morning are being provided by the Cayuga Lake Watershed Intermunicipal Organization. A walking tour of the Audubon Center grounds will start after lunch. 

This event is being coordinated by the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network and Montezuma Wildlife Refuge, with additional support from the Cayuga Lake Watershed Intermunicipal Organization, Friends of Montezuma, the Audubon Center, and the DEC.  All of these organizations are dedicated to protecting the quality of our water resources.

Contact Andrea VanBeusichem at 315-568-5987x228 or or
Judy Pipher at with any questions.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Looking for nice photo's of Owasco Lake

Do you have some nice shots of the lake that show its beauty and uniqueness?

The Owasco Watershed Lake association is in the process of updating its web site and needs appealing photos of Owasco Lake. We are looking for some really special photo's that depict the beauty and uniqueness of Owasco Lake. We will give full credit to the photographer of each photo that is used.

- photos should be in the .JPG format
- show Owasco Lake in a significant part of the photo
- be interesting and depict the beauty or uniqueness of our lake
- please include name of the photographer, approx. date of photo, details of location/subject

E-mail your photo submissions for consideration to

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's Spring and the ice is out on Owasco Lake!

The lake ice broke up with yesterday mornings winds. This ended a 56 day run of ice on the entire lake north to south (since 1/24/11). The lake ice sheet had begun to shrink around the edges about two weeks ago. It has been an old fashioned winter here in CNY. Skier's and snowmobiler's have enjoyed one of the best seasons in years. Syracuse presently stands at 174.2" of snow fall so far this season.

The boats won't be far behind. It's time to start thinking about summer on the lake!

- Lakeman

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Local Boating Safety Courses

I know the ice isn't out of Owasco Lake yet, but it is never too early to think about boater safety. There are several Boater Safety Training classes coming up over the next several weeks. 

Upcoming local Boater Safety Classes:

Saturday, March 19, 2011
Bass Pro Sportsman Center, Finger Lakes Mall, Auburn (Cayuga)Gray, Ralph (315)258-2700
This class is for adults and childrenThe instructor charges a fee for this course. If you are over 18 in addition to the class fee you will be required to pay NYS Parks a $10.00 fee for your boating safety certificate.
Monday, March 28, 2011Otisco Laker Community Ctr., Amber Rd. Marietta (Onondaga)Gray, Ralph (315)415-8191This class is for adults and children, Sue HarringtonThe instructor charges a fee for this course. If you are over 18 in addition to the class fee you will be required to pay NYS Parks a $10.00 fee for your boating safety certificate.
Saturday, April 09, 2011Fair Haven Yacht Club, 14510 Westside Dr, Fair Haven (Cayuga)Servadio, Samuel (315)488-9704This class is for adults and children, contact Karen LeeThere is no cost for this class. If you are over 18 you will be required to pay NYS Parks a $10.00 fee for your boating safety certificate.
Legal Requirements - Persons Required to Complete a Safety Course

You must hold a safety certificate if:

  • 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 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.

For more information on Boating Safety and Marine Navigation laws visit the NYS Parks and Recreation web site:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Forum on Hydrofracking - March 15th

Hydrofracking & Agriculture the Promise & the Reality - A Farm Forum

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 7:00-9:00 pm
Penn Yan Middle School Auditorium
515 Liberty Street, Penn Yan
Panelists & General Topics:
Klaas Martens, one of the largest organic farmers in New York State, will serve as the panel's moderator


"Lessons to be learned: What a Look Back Tells Us about Farming and Fracking."
Ron Gulla and Terry Greenwood, farmers from Washington County, PA, will address what their experience with natural gas drilling and drilling companies on their land has taught them.
"Leases and Your Best Interests." 
Leslie Lewis, attorney with the NYC firm, Napoli, Bern and Ripka, will share information and answer questions about gas leases and the farmer.
"What I Now Know and Should Have Known Then." 
Ellen Harrison, founder of Fleased Organization, will speak about her research and actual experience as a landowner with natural gas drilling companies.
"Lessons Learned and Considerations for the Future." 
Art Hunt, vineyardist and co-owner of Hunt Country Vineyards - a fifth generation landowner/farmer in Yates County

Related Topics and Issues
* Question and Answer Session. Product Marketability
* Land Values Impact on Well and Irrigation Waters Country Living
Truck Traffic and Crop Health
* The Mennonite Community Agritourism
* Health and Safety of our Neighbors
* Neighbor versus Neighbor
* Short Term vs. Long Term Gain
* Your Own Special Concern(s)
Sponsored by The Committee to Preserve th