• Protecting The Finger Lakes
  • Educating People About Our Natural Resources
  • Working Together Regionally
  • Protecting The Finger Lakes
  • Educating People About Our Natural Resources
  • Working Together Regionally
  • Protecting The Finger Lakes
  • Educating People About Our Natural Resources
  • Working Together Regionally
  • Protecting The Finger Lakes


May 2017

The FLRWA held its bi-month meeting on March 20, 2017 at FLI in Geneva, NY and was attended by:

Canandaigua: Lindsay McMillan, Neil Atkins

Cayuga: Bill Ebert

Hemlock/Canadice (City ofRochester): David Rowley, John Maier

Honeoye: Terry Gronwall, Dorothy Gronwall

Keuka: Dennis Carlson

Owasco: Bob Brower, Peter Rogers, Ken Kudka, Dana Hall

Seneca: Don Corbett

Skaneateles: Buzz Roberts

Sodus Bay: David Scudder

DEC: Aimee Clinkhammer, Lewis McCaffrey

FLI: Lisa Cleckner, Patty Wakefield Brown

FLWRA: Don Cook – President

NYSFOLA: Nancy Mueller

0ffice of Congressman Tom Reed: Andrew Wilber


Nancy Mueller, the director of NYSFOLA, gave a comprehensive review of Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP).  The program was established in 1985 in response to a NYS environmental conservation law with the purpose of establishing a network of volunteers from lake Associations to monitor lake conditions throughout the state.  In partnership between DEC and NYSFOLA, CSLAP provides training to volunteers who collect water quality samples, and various forms of vegetation and organisms.  Since 1986, 1500 volunteers have collected over 40,000 samples that they sent for analysis to the Upstate Freshwater Institute.

CSLAP has partnered with both ESF in Syracuse and the newly formed DEC HUB to address concerns over harmful alga blooms.  In addition to its scientific role, CSLAP has become a great educator for individuals using the lakes and in gaining their involvement in lake quality actions.


Patty Wakefield Brown from the FLI discussed “Adopt a Shoreline” project. This project would involve volunteers from the community such as shoreline owners, boaters, school groups, boy scouts, environmental groups, etc., to conduct surveys of macrophytes (visible vegetation) in the lakes. The data collected would result in early detection of invasive species and would lead to a rapid and timely response.


Lindsay McMillan discussed the FLRWA newsletter. Attendees decided that the best approach initially, was to keep it organic. Interesting information from the FLRWA meeting could be forwarded to the member organizations. The individual associations could at their discretion forward it to their members. The prevailing opinion was that this would be a good way to share information from other lakes as well as topics presented at the meetings. Communication could also be developed to keep regional government representatives abreast of pertinent information.


Lisa Cleckner from the FLI spoke on communication among the scientific community. She noted that the Great Lakes Research Consortium is a good source to find experts in various fields relating to lake issues.

She also noted the FLI address is 300 Pultney St., Geneva, N.Y. 14456. Letters to FLRWA can be addressed to the FLWRA c/o this FLI address.

Don Cook informed that RIT, SUNY Brockport, SUNY Geneseo and University of Buffalo have been contacted and have provided contact persons, contact information, and services and programs that they have available. This information will be added to the College connection page of the FLRWA website.


Representatives presented their individual Lake Reports which can be accessed at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ndko_fQV3Ma2yPWipDfDdM8Yn2u78We5lnWXzg1ViHg/edit.


Aimee Clinkhammer from DEC announced that the round table discussion in Canandaigua of lake issues for Section 8 of the DEC, had been postponed because of winter storms and will be rescheduled.

The Annual NYSFOLA Conference will be at the White Eagle Lodge in Hamilton May 5 and 6. On May 5, there will be a presentation by lawyers on appropriate financial actions by 501c3 organizations.

The next FLRWA meeting will be May 15, 2017 at the FLI.


November 2016

The FLRWA held its bi-monthly meeting on September 19, 2016 and was attended by:

Canandaigua: Neil Atkins, Lindsay Atkings,

Cayuga: Bill Eibert, Hilary Lambert

Honeoye: Don Cook

Keuka: Alex Wahlig

Otisco: Margie Creamer, Jen Griffin

Owasco: Bob Brower, Anthony Pollard

Skaneateles: Buzz Roberts

FLI: Hilary Mosher, Emily Staychock*

NYSFOLA: Nancy Mueller

Not in attendance:  Canadice,  Conesus (Eric Randall – in absentia reported via email), Seneca, Sodus Bay, Hemlock



Various studies conducted in late summer reveal that blue-green algae was well below levels of concern.  Weekly monitoring continues with results available for interested members via email, website and Facebook.  Despite the good news regarding blue-green algae, there is still focus on the AIS prevention program and a grant from FLI PRISM for concerns for Hemlock Woolly Adelied.  Look for more information in November with a brochure, and November Viewpoint focus on invasive species prevention.

 Public meetings for the onsite Wastewater Treatment System Law were well attended.


Hydrilla has been eradicated from the Cayuga Inlet but is still being found off Aurora, halfway up the east shore.  Three or four tests conducted by Bill Eibert and team, found harmful algae blooms (HABs) above the DEC limits.  Drought and septics will be the focus of the Fall Conference on November, 19.

 The Can You Canoe Cayuga paddling event on September 11 was again, very successful.


The CLA successfully opened its watercraft wash stations at the NYS Parks boat launch where the four stewards engaged several thousand vessels emanating from 103 different bodies of water with less than 2% of them transporting foreign material.  CLA continues an active invasive and unwanted species program focused on open water, near shore, HAB, and watershed areas.  Hemlock Woolly Adelgid was found during extensive searches with at least one area identified as being used for rearing biocontrol predators.  Additionally, CLA and Livingston Sheriff have reported an inordinate number of significant buoy and vessel damages caused by excessive near-shore speeds by primarily, pontoon boats.

 CLA will be advancing its good work now that the Town of Livonia has provided a venue for a CLA office, meeting space and an educational/research/outreach facility.

 This year brought historic low lake levels, clearest water column in years, and the largest “end of season” boat parade in excess of 50.

 CLA membership hovers around 1250 paid members.


The Inlet Restoration Project to return the inlet to its original, meandering condition, is underway thanks to a $300,000 grant and $50,000 in private donations.  A new “transport barge” has also been added to Honeoye’s arsenal for weed management.  The barge will carry cut weeds to the public boat launch so the weed harvester will not have to travel the 4 mile length of Honeoye Lake each time it is full.  This will save time, money and energy, and will also provide an efficient way to remove weeds that collect along the shoreline.

 Not all Honeoye Lake residents favor weed harvesting and are distributing petitions to remove the weir (weed dam) and weed harvester.  There are also concerns that the biomass removed from the lake and put onto agricultural lands could contain toxins from blue-green algae.


The second year of KLA’s watercraft steward program shows promise and is growing.  The once all volunteer staff, was augmented this year by paid full-time seasonal stewards and a part-time coordinator as a result of a grant by DEC.  From May-August, the stewards engaged with 7,770 individuals and inspected 18,218 watercraft.  They will be providing services at launches for fishing tournaments in September-November.

 KLA continues to work with Yates County Soil and Water Conservation and CCE Yates in addition to participating the FLI’s Citizen Science AIS monitoring.  So far, 2015 results show the lake to be in good health.


Otisco had two stewards this summer and are working on a grant for funding next year.  July 25th saw a successful annual water chestnut pull from Turtle Bay thanks to the contributions of the FLI interns and 5 volunteers.  The association is very proud of this effort which it has sponsored for the past 7-years.  Otisco also held a successful Watershed Shuffle fundraiser with 164 participants.

 A meeting was held with representatives from the five towns in the watershed to discuss sharing the cost of weed harvesting.  Board member, Jillian Ryan, led the meeting and will continue this effort.

 OCWA Deputy Director, Geoff Miller, reported 2016 as one of the lowest lake levels eclipsed only by 2012 and 1995.


OWLA and OWIP have made progress on a number of administrative fronts that include staffing, volunteer recruitment, membership, upgraded technologies, use of social media, community education and awareness, grant search, and tributary signage.

 They are also coordinating a roadside ditch grant program, and supporting both the Owasco Flats riparian restoration, and Dutch Hollow restoration.  A $29,000 bio-assay on Owasco invertebrates and bi-values contribute to AIS prevention.  A work group was established to obtain legal action, lobbying and funding to establish a 24 zone HAB surveillance program.


There was less foam on the lake this year probably from a lower zebra mussel die-off or less nutrient in the lake.  Although the lack of snowfall and summer drought resulted in a low lake level it also contributed to less lakeside erosion and therefore, less soil entering  the lake.


 Hillary Lambert reported that she will be stepping down as President after the November meeting but will remain active in FLRWA.

 FLRWA moved to establish a Water Advisory Resource Group (WARG) to manage and keep current a list of contacts that individual lake associations could call upon to assist in solving watershed issues.  The list would be housed on the FLRWA website.

 No change to the Treasurer’s report.

 New Business: New officers – president, vice president and treasure

Next Meeting: November 21 at 2:00pm



Several lakes took the Bloody Red Shrimp samplers to be returned to Hilary.


The DEC has not finalized CAFO general permits with no date in sight.  Additionally, the DEC is proposing sediment sampling for copper toxicity related to copper sulfate application for algae – stay tuned.

 Benthic barriers now require a permit, so lake associations should start communicating to members and residents to apply now for next year.  Whether a general or individual permit is required will depend on size and scope.