By Dan Corbett
HELLO, and thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter and show your caring for Seneca Lake. As the incoming President of the Board late last year, I spent some time with the Pure Waters mission, “Preserve, Protect, and Promote Seneca Lake water quality for ALL who have the privilege of knowing it”. I wanted to be sure the mission aligns with the activities of the organization, and that it meets the real needs of the lake. The first two keywords: Preserve (maintain in its original or existing state) and Protect (keep safe from harm or injury) are closely related, and many of our efforts address them. Our water quality monitoring programs of the lake (CSLAP, HABs, Invasives) and key tributaries (Stream Monitoring) give sound data on the current conditions compared to a multiyear history, and point to areas of concern and need. This information was key to another major effort, the development of the 9 Element Watershed Management Plan. The plan, just completed, is an extensive document of the state of the watershed and the lake, its primary issues, targeted improvement goals, and recommended actions to achieve those goals.
The recently established Sediment, Nutrient, and Pollution Reduction (SNPR) program is our entry into active improvement projects in the watershed that reduce the flow of pollution into the lake. Our new Fisheries program, partnered with Finger Lakes Institute, is looking at the health of the food chain. Fish sampling can also provide important data on critical contaminants to human health. The last key word, Promote (actively encourage), is critical to bring focus and resources to bear on the issues affecting the lake. Pure Waters is solely focused on the health of Seneca Lake, and uses many forums (newsletters, radio, press releases, social media, email blasts) to communicate and educate concerned citizens and public representatives on relevant issues and opportunities. Our Lake Friendly Living program is all about the education of watershed residents on best practices in managing their properties. We pride ourselves on being data based and expend significant effort to fully understand issues, often linking with partners that possess expertise. So after comparing the mission to the work that Pure Waters is immersed in, I felt good about the strong alignment and progress being made. Is there more that we could be doing? Yes, there are many good ideas and important needs. That’s why we’re regularly asking for interested folks to volunteer their time and/or to donate, so that we can continue to grow and fight the good fight for the health of Seneca Lake. Dan Corbett President Seneca Pure Waters