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2020 Pure Waters Accomplishments - Frank DiOrio

01/18/2021 3:36 PM | Kaitlin Fello

Our Pure Waters team is very proud of our accomplishments over this past year, despite all the challenges we read about each and every day. Efforts of over 200 volunteers went above and beyond to deliver on our promise of preserving, protecting and promoting Seneca Lake water quality. Major progress was made, on both the Citizen Science side of our organization, as well as within our Operations Committees and Teams.  A high-level summary of some our major achievements is summarized below:

Seneca Lake PURE WATERS Association

is here to Preserve, Protect, and Promote

Seneca Lake water quality for ALL who have

the privilege of knowing it.

  • All of our Citizen’s Science programs, including Harmful Algal Blooms Monitoring (HABs), Stream Monitoring and Citizens Science Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP), Invasive Species Monitoring were executed in a way that protected our volunteers from Covid risks and limited costs as much as possible.
  • Our new Lake Friendly Living education program was launched and over 70 residents have pledged to incorporate around-the-home practices to help reduce nutrient loading.
  • Our Dock Monitoring HABs research program was conducted for the second year, providing valuable insights around the behaviors and causal conditions for HABs.
  • Commercially available home HABs Toxin kits were evaluated, which we believe may allow homeowners to identify toxic bloom conditions on their shorelines.
  • We launched our new “What’s in our Lake?” Webinar series to help our watershed residents understand the trends and conditions of Seneca Lake water quality. The reception and participation of these webinars has been excellent.
  • Pure Waters leaders worked closely with our Watershed Manager, Ian Smith, and participated in the 9 Element Plan Executive Committee to support a wide variety of activities directed towards water quality improvements.
  • Our relationships with Canandaigua Lake and other Finger Lakes associations continued to strengthen and promoted a high level of sharing of program ideas and improvements.
  • Our enhanced Lakewatch Newsletter was distributed every month of the year and has been very well received by our membership base. Advertising space was also added to give local business supporting Pure Waters an opportunity to promote their businesses. Another very popular communication, Bloomwatch also continued during the HABs season.
  • Continued to keep the lake-wide scientific study known as the Nine Element Watershed Management Plan (Nine E Plan) on schedule, which will help us bring focus to the watershed’s most serious threats; this plan will be central to obtaining large governmental Clean Water Act grants.
  • Assisted in the Seneca Watershed Intermunicipal Organization’s (SWIO) efforts to have townships around the lake fairly share the salary cost of our lake steward, Ian Smith, who has been central to our efforts to complete the above noted Nine E Plan.                     
  • Sponsored erosion control educational conferences for the farming community hosted by local County Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
  • Developed a Strategic Plan, which will guide our activities to preserve, protect and promote Seneca Lake water quality.
  • Conducted our first ever virtual Annual Meeting, which ended up being extremely popular with our membership base.
  • Found creative ways to fund all of our major activities when traditional large in-person fundraising events were no longer possible due to the virus.

Like all other volunteer organizations, we look forward to a more normal 2021. We know this will not happen early in the year, so we will utilize our “lessons learned” in 2020 to make sure we do not miss a beat again this year. Your continued financial support through donations and participation in Pure Waters events will be critical to our success. Thank you in advance for supporting our efforts to protect the lake that we all enjoy so much.

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