By DAVID L. SHAW firstname.lastname@example.org
GENEVA — Sediment and nutrients that flow into Seneca Lake and its tributaries often have a negative impact on water quality.
To help combat that, Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association has formed a team of board members and qualified volunteers to launch a sediment, nutrient and pollution reduction program. Initial funding was provided by two watershed property owners who have donated $15,000 in matching funds to each incoming donation made to SLPWA for the new program.
The initiative will aid projects in the watershed that reduce pollutants, and limit others like organic chemicals, bacteria and heavy metals, along with helping with other projects of interest.
“We can lessen nutrient loading by implementing cover crops, incentivizing farms to use best management practices adjacent to streams, utilizing sediment retention and settling ponds, widening and stabilizing ditches near roadways and implementing other storm water control measures which have drastically helped elsewhere,” SLPWA President Jacob Welch said. “Implementing such programs comes with some hefty price tags, but with matching funds, we can meet that challenge head on.”
Welch noted sediment and nutrients contribute to the growth of harmful algal blooms and nuisance weeds, and alters aquatic life resources.
SLPWA has contributed $5,000 to help facilitate a $30,000 engineering study of the Keuka Outlet into Seneca Lake, with a plan to recover nearby canal beds that serve as a wetland and redirecting high volume storm water. The Keuka Outlet project is led by the Seneca Watershed Intermunicipal Organization and others.
To donate to the new program, go to www.senecalake.org/donate. All donations in February and March will be used for spring projects.