Sunday, December 2, 2012

Owasco Flats Nature Reserve - Annual Meeting

Owasco Flats Nature Reserve Annual Meeting 

- Review of 2012 projects and plans for 2013.

The Owasco Flats Nature Reserve's Annual Meeting 2012 will be held 
on Tuesday,December 4, 2012 at the Moravia Firehall located at 38 Keeler Avenue 
off Route 38 in Moravia. This evening event will start at 6:30 pm.

Guest Speaker:  Bruce Natale

Topic: “Owasco Flats Wetland Restoration Project”

Learn more about the meeting agenda at:

Friday, November 23, 2012

December OWLA Meeting

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - 7 pm at Springside Inn
6141 West Lake Road, Auburn

Guest Speaker:

Katie Jakaub - Owasco Lake Watershed Inspector

The Owasco Lake Watershed Inspection Program:
Overview and Future Objectives

OWLA Business meeting following the guest speaker:

Topic: OWLA Strategic Vision/Action Plan Review

Learn more about Owasco Lake

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has a website with interesting recreation and water quality information about Owasco Lake. The site also has links to an assortment of other sites and documents concerning Owasco Lake.

Check these web-sites out at the following link:
DEC Owasco Lake Recreation website:
DEC Owasco Mangement website:

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

OWLA strategic planning event

OWLA Strategic Vision and Development of Action Plan for 2013-2016

Springside Inn, 6141 West Lake Road Auburn
Saturday, November 10, 2012
9 am – 12 noon

You are invited to join the Board of Directors of OWLA for a Saturday morning session to engage in a series of conversations about what we can do together to protect and restore Owasco Lake and its watershed.
Everyone is encouraged to participate and to attend all or any parts of the sessions. 
 Goals and Objectives of the Meeting:

Affirm OWLA History, Vision, Mission, and Values 
Agree on Strategic Plan Long Term Vision of Restoring Owasco Lake and its watershed
Development of Action Plan 2013-2016 
Identify key goals, partners, and strategies to improve the Owasco Lake and its watershed 
Forge agreements on next steps to complete and start OWLA Action Plan by January 2013 

For the full agenda and details of the meeting,

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Household Hazardous Waste Day - Oct. 27th

Household Hazardous Waste
Drop-Off Event

October 27, 2012

This fall Cayuga County's Household Hazardous Waste Day provides all City of Auburn and Cayuga County residents the opportunity to dispose of household hazardous waste in a safe manner. Proper disposal protects human health, our community and the environment.

Date, Time and Registration:
Saturday, October 27, 2012.

This event is FREE! But 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, oil based stains
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
Gas/oil, oil/water, gas/water mixtures
Pool chemicals
Photograph developing chemicals
Propane tanks
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.

Small freon appliances will also be accepted for FREE, with a 40 pound weight limit.

Learn more at:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

OWLA Meeting Notice - October 3rd

OWLA Meeting Notice:

The next OWLA meeting  is Wednesday, October 3, 2012, at 7 pm at Springside Inn, 6141 West Lake Road.

Guest speaker will be Eileen O’Connor, PE, Director of Environmental Health, speaking about “Blue-Green Algae and how to report it.”



Strategic Planning Session

Saturday, November 10, 2012
9:00 am - 12:00 Noon

Springside Inn

All OWLA members invited.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Prescription Drug Take-Back

Prescription drugs entering our waters has been a recent hot topic in the news. Kinney Drug's is sponsoring a Prescription Drug Take-Back event in Moravia next Saturday.

Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012

10 am - 2 pm

Kinney Drugs, Main St., Moravia N.Y.

Bring unwanted, unused drugs for safe disposal.

Help keep drugs out of  our water supply.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Blue – Green Algae is confirmed in Owasco Lake

Press Release on Blue Green Algae:

Cayuga County Health and Human Services
160 Genesee Street
Auburn, NY 13021
For Immediate Release: Wednesday September 12, 2012
Contact: Eileen O’Connor, P.E.
Director of Environmental Health
Phone (315) 253-1405
Fax: (315)-253-1478

Blue – Green Algae
The Cayuga County Health Department has recently received phone calls from County residents reporting that there are algae blooms on Owasco Lake. Residents are concerned that these blooms are blue-green algae. A water sample was taken from a bloom which was located at the south end of the lake. The sample was sent to the New York State Department of Health and they confirmed the presence of blue-green algae.

The Cayuga County Health Department would like to advise people that at any time surface water is visibly discolored or has surface scums from algae, they should suspect the presence of blue-green algae and avoid contact or consumption.

Blue-green algae is of concern as it can produce toxins that could pose a health risk to people and animals when they are exposed to them in large enough quantities. Adverse health effects could occur when the blooms are swallowed while swimming or through contact with the skin.

A good website that has pictures of various types of algae can be found at

The Cayuga County Health Department has the following advice:
1. People and pets should not swim in water that is discolored or has surface scum. If contact does occur, wash with soap and water or rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove algae.
2. Avoid bathing, showering, or washing dishes in untreated water that is experiencing an algae bloom.
3. Do not let your pet drink water experiencing blue-green algae blooms.
4. People are encouraged to call the Environmental Health Division at 315-253-1405 if they suspect a blue-green algae bloom. 

more info at:

Saturday, September 1, 2012

OWLA Meeting - Wednesday Sept. 5th

The next OWLA meeting will be this Wednesday, September 5, 2012, at 7 pm at Springside Inn, 6141 West Lake Road.

Guest speaker at this meeting will be Jason Cuddeback, District Grazing Specialist and Certified Crop Advisor from the Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation District
Cuddeback will speak about “Agricultural Best Management Practices and What They Mean to Owasco Lake.” He will discuss the proposed implementation of the $600,000 grant that the County was recently awarded by the New York State Agricultural Non-Point Source Grant program and its potential positive impact on Owasco Lake and the watershed.

We hope to see you there!

- Lakeman

Friday, August 31, 2012

Recycle this fall!

We have three recycling events coming up this fall in Cayuga County. It is a great time to clean up that basement or garage and take advantage of these well run events hosted by our local government entities. One of the events  is a household hazardous waste return that allows you to get rid of those old chemicals, cleaners, etc. in a safe, controlled manner. We hope you find the time to clean out and recycle!

Fall 2012 Recycling Events:
  • September 22nd:
    Fall-E Electronics Collection Event: compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), fluorescent tubes, propane tanks, button cell batteries and E-waste 
  • October 27th:
    Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event
  • November 17th:
    America Recycles Day: compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), fluorescent tubes, button cell batteries and E-waste 
Learn more about these events in this excellent ECOTALK article from the Auburn Citizen:

Saturday, August 18, 2012

More about Invasives: The Water flea

Everyday it seems, we hear about another invasive species affecting our water quality or recreation in the Finger Lakes. Another fairly recent invader; the water flea is significantly affecting recreation on lakes all over NY state. Presently it is mainly affecting fishing, but it is another story that highlights the need to clean and inspect for invasives on our equipment before we move them from lake to lake. Learn more about the water flea at these resource links:

Auburn Citizen article:

NY Invasives:

Info from Sea Grant program:

Learn about Hydrilla:

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Boating Safety

Recent serious boating accidents in New York State, remind us that we need to always be aware of safety on the water. You should be familiar with all your boats safety equipment and procedures.  Children and non-swimmers should always wear life jackets. Take a minute today, to stop and review safety around your boat, beach and dock.

U.S. Coast Guard Boater Safety web page:

Read another reminder from the Auburn Citizen below:

Link to Auburn Citizen editorial:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Don't forget Lake Day!

It's just a week away from Owasco Lake Day! We hope you will take time to come out to hear the interesting speakers and to see the interesting exhibits.

5th Annual
Owasco Lake Day
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
3:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Emerson Park

Resource Fair and Family Activities
Displays, Demos, Brochures, Games
3:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Speakers at the Pavilion:
5:00 pm    Opening Ceremonies:
State, County and City Officials
5:30 pm    Keynote: Frederick L. Kirschenmann, Ph.D
               Farms, The Watershed, and Owasco Lake
6:15 pm    “State of the Lake” Panel
John Halfman, Ph.D.: Status of the Lake
       Bruce Natale:  Invasive Species  Update
  • Free Admission         • Free Parking
     • Family Activities        • Children’s Games
       • Children’s Games      • Pontoon Boat Rides
Owasco Watershed Lake Association
 Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency
  Cornell Cooperative Extension Cayuga County
  IAGT at Cayuga Community College

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lawn care and the lake!

 It's that time of year when most of us are busy caring for our lawns. The Owasco Lake Water Inspector Katie Jacob recently wrote an interesting column on lawn care in the Auburn Citizen. Please read more on what you can do to minimize our lawns impact on the lake.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Boater Safety Courses

 Upcoming Boater Safety Courses in Cayuga County:

Friday, May 18, 2012
Bass Pro Shop, Finger Lakes Mall, Auburn (Cayuga)Gray, Ralph (315)258-2700This class is for adults and children, register with customer serviceThe instructor charges a fee for this course. If you are 18 or older in addition to the class fee you will be required to pay NYS Parks a $10.00 fee for your boating safety certificate.
Saturday, June 09, 2012
Montezuma Town Hall, 8102 Dock St, Montezuma (Cayuga)Malenick, John (315)729-6611This course is for adults and children.The instructor charges a fee for this course. If you are 18 or older in addition to the class fee you will be required to pay NYS Parks a $10.00 fee for your boating safety certificate.
Saturday, June 09, 2012
Town of Summerhill, 13606 Rt. 90, Locke (Cayuga)Nedza, John (315)364-7251This class is for adults and childrenThere is no cost for this class. If you are 18 or older you will be required to pay NYS Parks a $10.00 fee for your boating safety certificate.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Fair Haven State Park, 14985 State Park Rd., Fair Haven (Cayuga)Woodard, Ro (315)947-5205This course is intended for students 18 years of age and olderThere is no cost for this class. If you are 18 or older you will be required to pay NYS Parks a $10.00 fee for your boating safety certificate.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Scipio Fire Dept., 3850 St. Rt. 34 Scipio (Cayuga)Nedza, John (315)364-7251This class is for adults and childrenThere is no cost for this class. If you are 18 or older you will be required to pay NYS Parks a $10.00 fee for your boating safety certificate.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Montezuma Town Hall, 8102 Dock St, Montezuma (Cayuga)Malenick, John (315)729-6611This course is for adults and children.The instructor charges a fee for this course. If you are 18 or older in addition to the class fee you will be required to pay NYS Parks a $10.00 fee for your boating safety certificate.
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Ira Fire Station, 12195 Rt. 176, Cato (Cayuga)Nedza, John (315)364-7251This class is for adults and childrenThere is no cost for this class. If you are 18 or older you will be required to pay NYS Parks a $10.00 fee for your boating safety certificate.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Owasco Fire Dept., 7174 Rt. 38A, Auburn (Cayuga)Nedza, John (315)364-7251This class is for adults and childrenThere is no cost for this class. If you are 18 or older you will be required to pay NYS Parks a $10.00 fee for your boating safety certificate.

Save the date!

Lake Day 2012
Wednesday, June 27
Emerson Park, Auburn NY
3:00 - 6:30 pm

Planned Events Announced
Save the Date and Be There!
          Owasco Lake Day 2012 will feature guest speakers and information for adults as well as activities for children, pontoon boats rides, and other events for families.
          Owasco Lake Day 2012 will feature a keynote address by Distinguished Fellow Frederick L. Kirschenmann, of the Leopold Center at Iowa State University.  
Following the keynote address, a “Status of the Lake” panel will present information related to Owasco Lake; the speakers will include
Dr. John Halfman, of the Finger Lakes Institute, and Bruce Natale, from WQMA.
          In addition to the speakers, Owasco Lake Day 2012 will feature activities and games designed for children. Activities will also include learning about Owasco Lake and the importance of preserving and protecting and games and events just for fun.
          The popular resource fair and guided pontoon boat rides will again be held this year, along with a number of other activities.
          Additional updates on Owasco Lake Day 2012 will be posted here as they become available.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

OWLA meeting this Wednesday!

Don't forget the OWLA meeting this Wednesday, May 2nd - 7pm, at the Springside Inn on West Lake Rd. in Fleming.

The public is invited!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hydrilla - a new threat to upstate NY waters

Hydrilla was discovered in the Cayuga Lake Inlet in Ithaca in late August of 2011. There have also been several possible recent detections in other upstate waters. Folks in the Fingerlakes need to be vigilant and use best practices to prevent the spread of yet another invasive plant.

Rooted in the bottom sediment and growing up to an inch a day, Hydrilla verticillata, quickly out competes native vegetation and creates a dense mat of vegetation at the surface of the water. This dense mat inhibits boat traffic, displaces natural habitat, and discourages recreational uses of the water. Spread by seed, buds (turions), tubers and vegetative fragments; this plant is often referred to as one of the worst invasive aquatic plants in the world.  

Boaters and other water recreation users can help prevent the spread, see recent guidance from NYS Sea Grant:

Additional Hydrilla information on the Tompkins County CCE website:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Editorial on Invasives

With our early spring/summer weather this week, many people are thinking about getting the boat in the lake. As you begin to plan your season, please be aware of the invasive species we are working to control/eliminate in our local waters. Take a quick read of this recent article from the Auburn Citizen and also checkout a few of the links on invasive species at the bottom of this blog.

Enjoy the great weather!


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Workshop was a success

“Owasco Lake… OWN IT” was a great success this past Saturday. Over 50 people turned out for the workshop to educate and empower citizens in the protection of Owasco Lake. Attendees learned about the present state of the lake as well as the many influences to its deteriorating water quality.

Thanks to everyone who helped put this event together and the concerned citizens who participated.

Learn more in the Auburn Citizen article at:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Can you help?

Owasco Lake is a beautiful place to visit or spend time on. Those of us who live near or recreate on it, know first hand how special it is. It not only is a recreational asset, but it is also a growing asset for tourism in our region. Sadly, the condition of the lake is deteriorating and the pressures from invasives, development and agriculture are mounting each year.

Invasive species have been a growing problem on the lake and the growing weed population has been an issue here for many years. Our county government and lake associations have worked for years to control the weed population in Cayuga County lakes. Unfortunately, funding, equipment and labor has been greatly reduced from what it was 10-15 years ago. In 2012 the Cayuga County budget for weed harvesting was cut again. Presently the weed harvester needs repair and with out immediate funding could miss doing any weed cutting in the county this summer. If you care about this important program, please contact your Cayuga County Legislator and tell them that we need to support the present program and also look at enhancing it in coming years. Read more about this issue at:

If you are looking to learn more or get involved with the protection of Owasco Lake, there is an upcoming seminar developed especially for you. On Saturday March 3rd The "Owasco Lake... OWN-IT" workshop will include the current condition of Owasco Lake, nutrients entering the lake, invasive species and opportunities for citizen involvement.

The event runs from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 3. If you’re interested in attending, please register by calling 252-8669 or visiting

 Learn more about the event in this article:

I hope you will consider getting involved with the protection of Owasco Lake.

......and don't forget our monthly OWLA meetings....the next one is Wednesday March 7th, 7pm at the Springside Inn on Rt. 38 in Fleming. We hope to see you there!

Take care - Lakeman

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Owasco Lake workshop

The registration is now open for “Owasco Lake… OWN IT” a two part workshop focused on the current condition of Owasco Lake and opportunities for citizen involvement. The workshop is being held in two parts and includes optional participation in a special training for citizens who want to participate in the long term protection of the Lake. Registration for the morning session will remain open until the day of the event, Saturday, March 3rd.

The registration for the afternoon training that will follow the morning sessions will be on a first come first serve basis with only about 25 seats open. The afternoon workshop is a hands-on training program by iMapInvasives, a multi-state program focused on invasive species. Please see:

 The event is being sponsored by:

The Owasco Watershed Lake Association (OWLA)
The Institute for the Application of Geospatial Technology (IAGT)
Cayuga Community College (CCC)
The Finger Lakes Institute (FLI)
Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency (WQMA)

Topics Include:
         The Condition of Owasco  lake
         The sources of nutrient entering the lake
         Invasive Species in the lake
         Opportunities for Citizen Involvement
         iMap Invasives hands-on training

                        “Owasco Lake, OWN IT”
Time:               9am- noon and 1pm -3:30pm
Date:               March 3rd, 2012
Location:        Bisgrove Theater, Cayuga Community College
199 Franklin Street  
Auburn, NY 13021 

Sign up today to reserve your seat.  There is no registration fee for the morning or afternoon sessions. Pre-registration is recommended for both events however and in fact required for the afternoon invasive species training program. A brown bag lunch is suggested for those registering for the afternoon workshop.  

 To register by phone or for additional information call: 315.252.8669    
On-line registration opened on February 3rd at:

Guest Speakers:

Dr. John Halfman has been studying Owasco Lake for years and has recently completed synthesis of his data for the summer of 2011. His picture of phosphorus levels during the summer created concern when it was clear that high levels of phosphorus had again been discharged into the lake from the Groton Sewage treatment plant. He will present his findings in the morning session. His work is supported by the Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency and the Owasco Watershed Lake Association.    

Dr. Barry Evans completed the only nutrient allocation model for Owasco Lake. This milestone work uses a combination of science and geo-spatial technology to identify and estimate the sources of nutrients entering the lake from throughout the watershed. Nutrients remain a primary if not the most significant threat to the condition of the lake. He will present his findings during the morning session. His work was supported by the Institute for the Application of Geospatial Technology at Cayuga Community College.

This workshop is a companion event to Lake Day 2012, to be held at Emerson Park on the shores of Owasco Lake on June 27th, 2012. SAVE THAT DATE!  

Gilda Brower, Chair, Owasco Lake Watershed Association (OWLA) Lake Day Planning Committee

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Is Owasco Lake getting worse?

A recent article in the Auburn Citizen describes an interesting debate between two local experts about the water quality of Owasco Lake. Eilleen O'Conner, the Director of Environmental Health and Bruce Natalie, a Cayuga County Planning Engineer have opposite takes on this important issue. I feel most people that live on or spend much time on the lake would agree that it is getting worse. The various new invasives, weed growth issues, and continuing problems with phosphorus from sewage treatment plants and agricultural run off are influencing the water quality in Owasco Lake significantly.

We hope the debate continues with the WQMA in 2012. Hopefully, the new Chairman Keith Batman can focus a strong response on some of these issues. Owasco Lake definitely needs more attention.

Can you help? Come to the OWLA meeting this Wednesday Feb. 1st at 7pm at the Springside Inn in Fleming to learn more and maybe help spur some new solutions.

What do you think?  Leave us a comment..........

- Lakeman

Read the article:

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Recycle a Xmas tree or maybe a musical instrument

Cayuga County is sponsoring a trade-a-tree program to recycle your Xmas tree, Jan 9th -13th at the Natural Resources Center on County House Rd. in Sennett, Read more at:

How about recycling an old musical instrument?............My wife and I recently were cleaning a closet and found an old clarinet from her youth. We set it out with the intent to find a new home for it, but never did. Over the holidays I stumbled upon a notice in the newspaper looking for used instruments to support music lessons for inner city youth. I called the number in the ad and was connected with Dick Ford at Signature Music in Syracuse. Dick has helped over 75 students since the programs inception in 2000. I had the pleasure of meeting Dick when I dropped off our clarinet donation last week. Dick is a passionate guy who had the vision and knowledge to put together this program for less fortunate inner-city kids. If you have an instrument or would like to learn more about this program, you can contact Signature Music at 315-478-7840.

Read more about this great program at:

To learn more about general recycling in Cayuga County, be sure to visit the counties recycling web-site for the latest information how you can recycle at :

- Lakeman

Monday, January 2, 2012

Reminder: No January OWLA meeting

There will not be a January 2012 OWLA meeting. Please join us as we 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.