The Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP) is a partnership between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), New York State Federation and Lake Associations (NYSFOLA), and lake residents who help monitor and collect critical lake data. The data collected through the program is used to identify water quality issues, detect seasonal and long term patterns, and inform volunteers and lake residents about water quality conditions in their lake.
Cayuga County provides part of their Finger Lakes Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance (FLLOWPA) funding to assist Lake Como and Duck Lake in their CSLAP programs. The funding for Owasco, Cayuga and Skaneateles Lakes in 2017 was provided by the NYS Environmental Protection Fund-Ocean and Great Lakes Program. The work is conducted by hardworking volunteers who donate their time to and resources to collect the samples.
2017 CSLAP reports for Cayuga County lakes are available on the NYSDEC website at https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/77882.html. Lakes that have reports available are Cayuga Lake, Duck Lake, Lake Como, Owasco Lake and Skaneateles Lake. The Finger Lakes Water Quality Report is also available on that page.
As the summer progresses, so does the possibility that harmful algal blooms will impact our County’s waterbodies. To learn more about harmful algal blooms, go here.
Two of our Finger Lakes currently are conducting surveillance for harmful algal blooms. The Owasco Watershed Lake Association, Owasco Watershed Inspection Program and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation are conducting a lake-wide surveillance program for Owasco Lake and information on that program can be found here. The Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, Discover Cayuga Lake and the Community Science Institute are also conducting the HABs Harriers Monitoring Program for Cayuga Lake and information on that program can be found here here.
For other waterbodies in the County, harmful algal blooms can be reported to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on their website.
As part of his 2018 State of the State announcements, Governor Cuomo directed the state’s Water Quality Rapid Response Team to convene four regional Harmful Algal Blooms summits. The Central New York Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) Regional Summit was held on March 5th and 6th in Syracuse and concentrated on Cayuga, Owasco and Skaneateles Lakes. Representatives from the Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency were in attendance.
This summit also included an evening session on March 6th that was open to the public where background information about harmful algal blooms was provided; as well as talks by experts, a panel discussion and an opportunity for local residents to share recommendations and ideas. This public session was archived and can be found here. Once on the site, you will see previously-recorded sessions along the right side, including the one in Syracuse (SUNY ESF).