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  • 10/31/2021 3:40 PM | Kaitlin Fello (Administrator)

    Please help us elect the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association Board of Directors, class of 2024 by voting using the poll below.

    All members in good standing 30 days leading up to the Annual Meeting are encouraged to vote to elect the Board of Directors. If you are receiving this email, that means you are eligible to vote.

    The voting poll will be open October 27- November 4th at 12:00pm.  Voting is anonymous, but you do have to provide your name to confirm membership status.

    Members up for re-election:

    Tom Burrall (Geneva) - 

    Tom is the 5th generation owner of a local family business, and also serves as a Geneva city council member.  Tom's spends his time working with Pure Waters on membership and business membership growth programs.

    Frank Case (Romulus) - 

    Frank is a retired judge and teacher, and is the current treasurer of the Pure Waters Board of Directors.  Frank is also the owner and operator of his own farm, and brings a keen understanding of the agricultural community to the Pure Waters Board of Directors.

    Frank DiOrio (Himrod) - 

    Frank is a retired Service Vice President with experience both in the Field and in the Corporate Service environments.  His career included 32 years at Eastman Kodak Company and 10 years at Pitney Bowes.

    Frank purchased his cottage on Seneca Lake in 1992 and has lived on the lake year round since retiring in 2015.  Frank has been a Pure Waters member since 1992 and is currently finishing up his post as Vice President of Operations for Seneca Pure Waters.  He plans to continue as a board member and keeps his eye on lake conditions every day.

    Jacob Welch (Himrod) - 

    Jake currently serves as the Pure Waters Board President, leads a political action committee through the Finger Lakes Regional Watershed Alliance, works closely with the 9E executive committee, and now leads the Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program.  Jake's legal knowledge is regularly utilized in Board discussions. 

    New members up for election:

    Steve Bromka (Romulus) - 

    Steve is a Seneca Lake watershed native, but worked as a Department of Army Civilian in logistics and supply chain management outside of the area.  Steve moved back after retiring in 2017, and has been a HABs and Invasive Species Pure Waters volunteer for multiple years, and has most recently began working with the Finger Lakes Institute as a Spotted Lantern Fly monitor.  Steve has already encouraged numerous new volunteers for Pure Waters, and will continue to support Pure Waters in a multitude of ways.

    Ron Klinczar (Hector) -

    Ron is Buffalo native, and is recently retired as a civil engineer for Mott McDonald.  Ron has owned property in the Seneca Lake watershed for one year, coming to learn of Pure Waters and quickly reached out to get involved.  Ron intends to use his career knowledge to move the new Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program forward.

    Jody Tyler (Keuka Park)

    Jody has been a Pure Waters member for six years, and a part time employee for five + years.  Jody has also joined Pure Waters as a volunteer on our Events, Communications, and Membership Committees for years and will be a tremendous asset to the Board of Directors. 

    Please follow the link below to vote on the seven members up for election this year. If you voted during the Annual Meeting, please do not vote again.

    Vote Now

    Thank you for being a Pure Waters' member!

  • 10/31/2021 12:35 PM | Kaitlin Fello (Administrator)

    Spotted lanternfly (SLF) is an invasive pest from Asia that feeds on a variety of plants including grapes, hops, and maple trees, posing a severe threat to New York's forests and agriculture. SLF has been found in several locations in NY but has not yet spread to much of the state. One potential pathway for the spread of SLF is its preferred host plant, tree-of-heaven (TOH), which is already found in many locations across NY.

    Volunteers like you are needed to look for SLF and TOH in your area. You can help protect NY's agriculture and forests by knowing what to look for and how to report it to NY's official invasive species database, iMapInvasives. Visit iMap's website to learn about the project and sign up for a grid square on the map to look for these species out in the field.

  • 10/30/2021 4:14 PM | Kaitlin Fello (Administrator)

    New Catch & Release Season for Inland Trout Streams- DEC ARTICLE

    When one door closes, another one opens… or in this case, when one fishing season closes, another one opens.

    In years past, October 15th meant the end of trout season here in New York. However, thanks to DEC’s recently implemented Trout Stream Management Plan, a new catch and release trout stream season (on inland streams) will begin on October 16 and extend through March 31. Now hardy anglers can enjoy trout fishing year-round! During the catch and release trout season, only artificial lures may be used and trout must be immediately released. Anglers are reminded to avoid disturbing spawning trout and gravel beds where trout eggs may be incubating.

    To assess any impact of the new season on wild trout populations, angling pressure and young of year trout abundance will be estimated on a statewide sample of 19 wild trout stream reaches from 2021 through 2024.

    Visit DEC's website to learn more about the Angler Use and Wild Trout Young of Year Recruitment Study.

  • 10/30/2021 4:06 PM | Kaitlin Fello (Administrator)

    Listen in to the Pure Waters' monthly radio show as Director of the Association talks with Ted on this year's Annual Meeting, Silent Auction, and the 2021 HABs season.

    2021 October - Radio Recording Kaitlin Fello.mp3

  • 10/30/2021 4:03 PM | Kaitlin Fello (Administrator)

    Written by Lewis McCaffrey, DEC

    Fishermen on the lake have long suspected that currents within Seneca Lake run fast and deep. Now the true speed and direction of water in the Finger Lakes’ deepest waterbody have been measured for the first time. Researchers from Le Moyne College in Syracuse have used drifting buoys equipped with satellite trackers to take measurements. The buoys were attached to suspended underwater ‘drogues’ at depths approaching 100 feet, where they catch rapidly moving currents. The results will allow scientists to better predict the movement of pollutants, harmful algae blooms and plumes of sediment and warm water.

    The trio of drifting buoys were released on 17th October, and the fastest travelled 9 miles in the first 48 hours. The probes were also equipped with temperature and light sensors, which may provide clues to the cause of the currents. They also have orange flashing beacons at the surface to aid identification and ensure safety in navigation. The research is being carried out by Adjunct Professor Lewis McCaffrey and research students Birdem Oz and Jacob Stewart. McCaffrey’s full-time job is as a research scientist for NYS DEC. It is thought that climate change will increase temperature stratification in many American lakes, ultimately causing currents to strengthen, with unpredictable consequences.

    Two of the drifters have been safely removed from the lake, but at the time of writing one remains but its GPS is no longer reporting. Anyone seeing a flashing orange light in the lake is requested to urgently email Dr McCaffrey at mccafflp@lemoyne.edu with an approximate location (e.g. lat/lon or address onshore and distance to the light).

    Other information:

    1. Research was funded by Le Moyne College, a Jesuit liberal arts school located in De Witt near Syracuse, NY.

    2. A ‘drogue’ (also known as a ‘sea anchor’) is an apparatus arranged to produce resistance to movement through the water. In this case the drogues are made of 4 ft panels of HDPE plastic - selected for its unreactivity, abrasion resistance and recyclability.

    3. Dr McCaffrey and students are part of the Department of Biology and Environmental Sciences. The students will carry out the research as part of their undergraduate program.

    4. In general the driving force behind deep currents is the wind acting on the lake’s surface, causing upper waters to shift in the approximate direction of the wind. Deeper water has to flow in the opposite direction to make up for this displacement.

    5. Lake residents Larry Martin, Dan Corbett and Addie Mason have enabled the placement and retrieval of the drifters.

    6. Contact information:

    Lewis McCaffrey, mccafflp@lemoyne.edu, 315 278 1530

  • 09/30/2021 6:06 PM | Kaitlin Fello (Administrator)

    Listen in to learn about the Seneca Pure Waters water quality monitoring programs with V.P. of Water Quality, Dan Corbett.

    2021 September - Radio Recording Dan Corbett.mp3

  • 09/30/2021 5:33 PM | Kaitlin Fello (Administrator)

    As the Stream Monitoring season comes to a close, we thought it high time we discuss the program with those who know it best - VOLUNTEERS!

    Interview with Kelly Coughlin

    Kelly, what do you do as the Stream Monitoring Program Coordinator?

    I help to coordinate volunteers from our Stream Monitoring Program "stream teams" to sample six streams in the Seneca Lake watershed: Big Stream, Catharine Creek, Glen Eldrige Creek, Keuka Outlet, Kashong Creek and Reeder Creek. Currently we are sampling four times per year, with a goal to collect in both dry weather and high water conditions. We collect samples to look at the concentrations of bacteria and nutrients from stream runoff sources such as manure applied to farm fields, wastewater treatment and residential septic systems to see how these sources may be impacting lake water quality. We test for temperature, phosphorus, nitrate/nitrite, E. coli bacteria, and total suspended solids (for water clarity). Sample results are available for all to see on the Community Science Institute's website at communityscience.org, look under "Seneca Lake Region." The results go back to 2014 when the program first began.

    Do you feel a sense of accomplishment with your volunteer work and how do you feel your volunteer work helps Seneca Lake and the community?

    It is very satisfying to participate in a volunteer effort like this, where with each passing year we are adding more data and adding to our knowledge of the water quality of Seneca Lake and its tributary streams and how water quality may be changing. People are becoming more aware of how our actions and decisions as a community can affect water quality and potentially improve it - for example, learning about the importance of maintaining wastewater systems, both at the municipal and residential level, to control bacteria and nutrient runoff into our lake.

    There are many volunteer opportunities in our community – what motivated you to volunteer for SPW and this program in particular? What do you think other people should know about volunteering for this organization? Would you recommend others consider volunteering?

    I would definitely recommend people get involved in a community project they care about - there is always an opportunity to find a fit for your particular skills, strengths, and interests with an organization that is looking for help! In my case, my interest and background in public health and water quality made volunteering with the stream team a good fit.

    Is there anything else you would like to share with me? Is there any question I should have asked you, but did not?

    Seneca Lake Pure Waters has undergone a lot of change in recent years, with many volunteers and members working hard to develop new approaches and priorities. It's exciting to see the changes and how Pure Waters can develop an important role in educating residents about their watershed and how to take care of it as well.

    Interview with Mary Rose

    There are many volunteer opportunities in our community – what motivated you to volunteer for Seneca Pure Waters and this program in particular?

    My name is Mary Rose, and I’ve been sampling the water of Big Stream for Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association since the stream program began in 2014. The members of my family have been members of SLPWA since its inception; I consider myself a lifetime member even in the years when my dues are late.

    Mary Rose, what do you do as a “Stream Team” volunteer and Big Stream leader?

    I’m the leader of a team ranging from 3 to 9 active samplers, and as leader what I really do is make the calls or send the text messages that rally whoever is available to come out to the 4 stream sites to collect 3 bottles of water at each location.

    We collect these samples, which are delivered to Community Sciences Laboratory (CSI) in Ithaca for analysis, to monitor the presence of nutrients and pollutants. We are mainly looking at phosphorus, nitrogen, and bacteria — e.Coli specifically. The data extracted shows us what is feeding Seneca Lake, and when; samples also give us readings that indicate the steady influence of output from the Dundee sewer plant. Heavy rains from storm events wash soil laden with fertilizer and animal excrement from agricultural properties adjacent to the stream and also from tributaries that flow into the stream.

    For a period of years we were tasked with collecting samples from six sites along Big Stream, and occasionally were able to collect six times a year. I look on those early days as our pioneer period. There’s something self-affirming for being out at dawn in November and February in the sleet with your hands in a wild, zero-degree stream. During that period we divided our team in to two teams, one for 3 “lower” and one for 3 “upper” locations. It was interesting in those early years to sample from the northern-most significant, and the southern-most significant headwaters of Big Stream. Those sites being respectively under the bridge at Gibson Road, and at Carly Brace Road.

    What do you think other people should know about this program and organization? Would you recommend others consider volunteering?

    Everyone on our teams is a leader, each person capable of directing their own collection site if necessary. There have been days when I wasn’t available to even make the rally phone calls, and the team delivered 100% of samples.

    I think it was 2019 that we found redundancy amid site location, and so we cut back to four sites; budget constraints further reduced our sampling events to four a year.

    Is there anything else you would like to share?

    The data output from CSI is readily available from the database website. I wish everyone held the curiosity to go visit, and the patience to maneuver through the data. The storm-event data should at least open eyes, if not outright shock the viewer.

    Perhaps I’ve become a stream-output fanatic since taking on this welcome position of citizen scientist. I do not pass any water running down-hill without equal appreciation and concern.

    Please check out our volunteer opportunities at www.senecalake.org/volunteer

  • 09/30/2021 4:46 PM | Kaitlin Fello (Administrator)

    Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association

     Virtual Annual Meeting

    October 13, 6:00pm

    Don’t miss this one!  Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association invites our watershed residents to an important event.  At 6:00pm on Wednesday, October 13th, Pure Waters will host the Association Annual Meeting to review the Pure Waters' program accomplishments, Association financials, and a recap of strategic plans. The meeting will once again utilize the Zoom format that proved to be extremely popular last year.

    Each Association member in good standing 30 days leading up to the Annual Meeting has voting rights to elect the Board of Directors, class of 2023.  This vote will take place during our Annual Meeting on October 13.

    Special additional topics that will also be included in the Virtual Annual Meeting. This includes an update on HABs, lake level information and results of Lake Water Quality Testing.  You will hear the launch of Pure Waters Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program (SNRP).

    In addition to our Virtual Annual Meeting, we will also be conducting our second annual Virtual Silent Auction from October 8th to 15th.  By participating in our Annual Silent Auction, you will be supporting the continuation of Pure Waters programs and projects, and our mission to preserve, protect, and promote Seneca Lake water quality. Plus, you'll take home some great items that were generously donated to Pure Waters from many local businesses! Many thanks to local businesses for donating goods and services to this very special fundraising event.  Mark the Silent Auction dates on your calendar and more information to follow.

    You must register for our Annual Meeting!

  • 08/29/2021 9:49 AM | Jody Tyler (Administrator)

    After a great deal of debate, the Pure Waters’ Board of Directors has made the tough decision to cancel our Annual Dinner for this year.  As you might expect, the Covid Delta variant was at the center of our decision.  At first, we thought having proof of vaccination might be sufficient to guard against the Delta variant.  However, the Board concluded the risk was too great to proceed, and determined we should not risk the health of our loyal members.

    The Annual Dinner is always one of our most popular events and also one of our biggest fundraisers. However, like last year, we will work diligently to make up for this significant revenue loss.  We will find creative ways to fund and support our well- respected water quality monitoring programs, including HAB Bloom, Stream, Lake Assessment (CSLAP), and Invasive Species Management (PRISM) as well as our educational Lake Friendly Living program.  You can donate any time at www.senecalake.org/donate or contact our Association Director, Kaitlin Fello (kaitlin@senecalake.org ), if you would like to help us in our funding efforts.

    In addition, we would like everyone to know our Virtual Annual Meeting will take place on October 13, 2021, from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.  Please save the date and join us while we discuss our year in review and our plans for the future.  The Virtual Annual Meeting will be preceded again this year by our Virtual Silent Auction.  Be ready to start the bidding on your favorite item on Friday, October 8, through Friday, October 15.  We hope you will join us for some fundraising fun and bid on your favorite special packages that week!  If you are interested in donating to this year’s silent auction, please email Kaitlin at kaitlin@senecalake.org

    No matter how big the challenges, you can always count on the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association to do everything possible to preserve and protect Seneca Lake.  Our success starts with our members.  If you are not a member, please join today at www.senecalake.org/join.   We appreciate your support!

  • 08/29/2021 8:58 AM | Jody Tyler (Administrator)

    Precipitation values for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 17, 18, 19…

    By 12:00am on 8/19, discharge peaked from Keuka Outlet at Dresden at 3290 cubic feet per second(cfs). Discharge rates continued above 2000cfs until approximately 10:00am that same morning.

    Manhole 360 (DEC)/ 135 Seneca Street.

    Seneca Pure Waters recently had a meeting with the representatives from the D.E.C. Regional 8 office.  Although the New York Sewage Right to Know alert originally reported a spillage of over 34 million gallons, D.E.C. officials indicated that the volume was miscalculated, and subsequent alerts were corrected.  In reality, approximately 177,000 gallons of sewage spilled into the Keuka Outlet, and towards Seneca Lake.

    The NYS Alerts also revealed the location of the incident: 135 Seneca Street, Penn Yan.  This property sits directly adjacent to The Birkett Mills.

    The Olney Place Flood Image

    Mean Discharge, Seneca River

    Mean Discharge Graph

    Keuka Lake Levels

    135 Seneca Street, Location of Sewage Pollution Event

    Birkett Mills

    Birkett Mills Map


Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association

P.O. Box 247

Geneva, NY 14456

Email: Info@SenecaLake.org

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