Cayuga Community College to Co-Sponsor Owasco Lake Day on June 25 at Emerson Park

Cayuga Community College is proud to be a co-sponsor of the 7th Annual Owasco Lake Day to be held Wednesday, June 25, 3-7 P.M. in and around the pavilion at Emerson Park in Owasco, New York. Other co-sponsors include the Owasco Watershed Lake Association (OWLA), the Institute for the Application of Geospatial Technology (IAGT), the Finger Lakes Institute (FLI) at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency (WQMA) and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County.

The event will once again include free admission and parking, free guided pontoon boat rides, family activities, children’s games and dozens of hands-on educational activities. The Resource Fair will be the biggest yet with more than 20 participating organizations.

Welcome remarks and introductions will be made by OWLA President Jim Beckwith starting at approximately 5 P.M. Two college students who work directly with Dr. John Halfman from the Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart William Smith College will present an overview of the condition of Owasco Lake based on the results of the data from the 2013 sampling. Dr. Halfman has been guiding the study of Owasco Lake for years. His work is supported by the Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency, the Owasco Lake Management Council and the OWLA. The presentation by his students will address the current condition of Owasco Lake, paying particular attention to the accelerated aging of the lake due to nutrients (phosphorus) from human activities throughout the watershed.

Following the student presentation, a panel of five experts will speak about the work being done to restore Owasco Lake. The panel will feature 15 minute-presentations by Debra McCormick, Auburn city councilor, and Doug Kierst, executive director of the Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation District. Cayuga County engineer, Bruce Natale, of the Planning Department, will deliver an overview on the Wetlands Restoration Project at the South end of the lake. Charlie Greene, supervisor of the Town of Niles and immediate past president of OWLA, will discuss OWLA activities and the new Dutch Hollow Brook Restoration Project. Doug Young, owner of the Spruce Haven Farm Dairy, will talk about exciting work being done to help agriculturalists capture nutrients on the land and thus reduce impacts on the lake.

Owasco Lake is the primary drinking water supply for the City of Auburn and many surrounding towns. As an important recreational destination, it is also used for swimming, boating, fishing, and purely aesthetic appreciation. The lake also supplies water via the Owasco River for power generation and Seneca canal “level” control. The lake and river both provide sewage treatment dilution. The wide array of demands on the lake makes its long-term protection complicated and its restoration extremely important.

More information on the event and Owasco Lake can be found at