Owasco Lake Symposium at Cayuga Community College

The Owasco Lake Watershed Association and numerous co-sponsors will hold a free public symposium, “The State of Owasco Lake” on Saturday, March 1, 2014, in the Bisgrove Community Theatre at Cayuga Community College, 197 Franklin St., Auburn.

The symposium will focus on the current condition of Owasco Lake and in particular the accelerated aging of the lake that is caused by nutrients (phosphorus) from human activities throughout the watershed. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The workshop features a prominent research scientist from the Finger Lakes Research Institute and NYSDEC Water Resource Management Officials and their work on many lakes in New York, including Owasco Lake.  John Halfman, Ph.D., of the Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart Williams Smith College; Clifford Callanan P.E. and Scott Kishbaugh, P.E. from the NYSDEC Division of Water will each make presentations.

Halfman has been studying Owasco Lake for years and has recently completed synthesis of his data for the summer of 2013. He will present his findings in, “The Trophic Status of Owasco Lake”, describing the condition of the lake and comparing it to previous years and to the status of other Finger Lakes. His work is supported by the Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency, the Owasco Lake Management Council, and the Owasco Watershed Lake Association.

“The Trophic State and its Impact on Public Water Supply and Recreation” will be presented by Clifford   W. Callinan. P.E. NYSDEC, Division of Water. Callinan will focus on the amount of phosphorus in the lake and implications for its long term use a reservoir. Nutrients remain a primary, if not the most significant, threat to the condition of the lake.

Scott Kishbaugh will draw from his years managing the NYS Citizen Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP) and his familiarity with NYS efforts to mitigate harmful algae bloom (HAB’s) and manage aquatic invasive species. He will draw correlations between these

Lake management issues and the amount of phosphorus in the lake.  His presentation is entitled, “The Trophic State, Algae Blooms, and Invasive Species”.

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 extremely important.

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) at Hobart Williams College, the Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency (WQMA), and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County.

This workshop is a companion event to Lake Day 2014, to be held at Emerson Park on the shores of Owasco Lake on June 25th, 2014.

There is no registration fee for the symposium. Pre-registration is recommended however and would be helpful to conference organizers.

To register by phone or for additional information, call 315-252-8669.

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