Owasco Lake Day Celebrates a ‘Finger Lakes Jewel’

The ninth annual Owasco Lake Day, featuring an array of resources and displays designed to help visitors protect, preserve and restore Owasco Lake, will take place from 2 to 7 pm June 22, rain or shine, at Emerson Park in Auburn. Also available will be children’s games, live music and free pontoon boat rides. Admission and parking are free.A Resource Fair, inside the park’s pavilion, will offer displays and demonstrations from more than 20 water-related and environmental organizations, providing a wealth of information about the Finger Lakes, their environmental challenges and how you can get involved.Live music, games, and educational activities aimed at elementary through high school students will be offered outdoors, on the pavilion’s south porch. Near the pavilion, picnic food will be sold by the Boy Scouts as a fundraiser for the local troop.Other highlights include free yogurt dispensed by the Cayuga County Dairy Princess and Ambassadors, and the display of an antique boat by a member of the Finger Lakes Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society.The event, presented by the Owasco Watershed Lake Association (OWLA), “celebrates and educates guests about one of our Finger Lake jewels,” said OWLA board member Rick Nelson.Starting at 5 p.m. at the pavilion, presentations will address solutions to protect and restore the water quality of Owasco Lake—under stress, like many New York lakes, from excessive nutrient inflow and invasive species. First up is “Status of the Lake,” a video summary of 2015 testing data by John Halfman, professor of geolimnology and hydrogeochemistry at the Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.Next, “Water Quality Improvement Solutions” will be given in 12-minute overviews:Jim Beckwith, president of OWLA, and Liz Moran, president of Ecologic LLC, will speak on “New Owasco Lake Watershed Management and Waterfront Revitalization Plan.”Nick Colas, principal GIS analyst for the Cayuga County Department of Planning and Economic Development, will speak on “Nutrient Pollution: Problems, Plans and Predictions.”Peter Rogers, OWLA board member, will speak on “Owasco Flats Conservation and Restoration.”Doug Kierst, executive director of the Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation District, will speak on “Dutch Hollow Watershed Project.”Rick Nelson, OWLA board member, will speak on “Enhanced Watershed Actions Program—$600,000 Grant.”Ken Kudla and Peter Rogers, OWLA board members, will speak on “OWLA’s Water Quality Programs and Initiatives.”U.S. Rep. John Katko is expected to attend. Also invited are New York State Sens. John DeFrancisco, Michael Nozzolio and James Seward and Assemblymen Gary Finch and Bob Oaks, all of whom have supported the lake and advocated for water quality.Owasco Lake Day is sponsored by the Owasco Watershed Lake Association, the Institute for the Application of Geospatial Technology, Cayuga Community College, Cornell Cooperative Extension—Cayuga County, the Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and the Cayuga Water Quality Management Agency.OWLA is a citizen-based association that promotes cooperation and leadership in the comprehensive management of land use, water quality, recreation, agriculture and other issues as they pertain to Owasco Lake and its watershed.For more information, go to owla.org.

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