ECO-BULLETIN FROM OTSEGO COUNTY CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION
July 7, 2014: Vol. 7, No. 12
Eco-bulletin headlines this issue:
STODDARD HOLLOW, JULIA ROBINSON TO PLAY LAKES FEST
OCCA SPRING NEWSLETTER AVAILABLE ONLINE
WIPE OUT WATER CHESTNUT WITH OCCA
BFS PROVIDES OTSEGO LAKE WATER QUALITY DATA
STODDARD HOLLOW, JULIA ROBINSON TO PLAY LAKES FEST: The Otsego Lakes Festival returns to Lakefront Park on Saturday, July 12 from noon to 5 p.m. with a focus on family fun, in celebration of Otsego County’s lakes.
Educational exhibits, hands-on workshops, presentations, and lake tours will all highlight the importance of protecting our waterways and ensuring good water quality throughout the region, while great food, music, and art will round out this family-friendly event. Admission is free.
Live musical entertainment is planned throughout the day. Julia Robinson will open the festival from noon to 1 p.m., and then the Stoddard Hollow String Band takes over for the rest of the afternoon. Julia Robinson is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist originally from the Cooperstown area, currently studying in Nashville, TN. With influences ranging… from Peggy Lee to Norah Jones to Regina Spektor, Robinson plays a variety of indie pop and jazz songs showcasing her unique vocal style. The Stoddard Hollow String Band is based in the upper Catskills and is known for its mix of Appalachian old-time tunes, traditional and original music, and some tunes you wouldn’t expect from an old-time band. The band consists of Marvin Zachow on fiddles and vocals, Ed McGee on clawhammer banjos, Frank Frazzitta on guitar and vocals, and Joel Murray on bass.
In celebration of New York State’s first Invasive Species Awareness Week, July 6-12, Paul Lord will talk about aquatic invasive species prevention measures at the Otsego Lakes Festival beginning at 1 p.m.Lord, watershed steward program coordinator for the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership, will begin by characterizing some of the most immediate exotic species threats to Otsego County lakes. Then he’ll outline the recommended “clean, drained and dry” procedure for preventing the spread of AIS and talk about “solutions” that stop invasive species using salt, salt substitute, bleach and/or vinegar. Lord will also describe the training program provided free to watershed stewards in the greater Catskill region through CRISP funding.
New this year is a kids’ lake art station with “juried” art contest. The art station will provide an opportunity for kids to sculpt, paint, draw or build a lake scene from various media. Their creations will then be displayed for festival attendees to view and cast a vote on behalf of their favorites. Contest winners will be announced at the end of the day, when the votes are tallied.
Local Trout Unlimited members will give free fly-tying demonstrations and lessons, the League of Women Voters will lead a recycling game for all ages, and Ronny Raindrop® will stroll among festival goers, promoting natural resources, soil conservation, and erosion control along the way.
Kids (and adults) will be able to create original works of art on cloth, paper, and T-shirts using paints and real or rubber fish at the Cooperstown Art Association fish printing tent. The SUNY-Oneonta Biological Field Station will offer demonstrations of lake-related phenomena, microscope stations to see and investigate algae, zooplankton, aquatic plants, and mosses, as well as tanks of Otsego Lake fishes, plants, and aquatic insects.
This year’s Lakes Festival features the public unveiling of the results of Otsego County Conservation Association’s countywide groundwater testing program, “What’s In Our Water?” OCCA will also conduct an informal “blind” taste test of water from the municipalities its Board members represent, to determine who has the best-tasting water.
Organized under the umbrella of Otsego County’s Water Quality Coordinating Committee, the Otsego Lakes Festival offers all the components of a festive occasion – music, art, children’s activities, good food and camaraderie – while providing valuable educational opportunities about lake protection and regional water quality programs from those who work to protect these resources. Personnel from WQCC member organizations will be on hand both to distribute literature and to discuss water quality issues one-on-one with interested parties.
The festival will also feature lake-related activities and entertainment, including:
• Water quality/ecology barge tours of the lake by SUNY Oneonta BFS staff
• Aquatic life touch tanks and “show and tell”
• Educational exhibits by lake-focused organizations
• Commemorative Otsego Lake poster sales
• Festival foods by the Leatherstocking Envirothon Committee and Origins Café
Confirmed exhibitors and vendors at the Otsego Lakes Festival thus far are: Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership, Catskill Headwaters Research Institute, Cooperstown Art Association, Dave Brandt Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Friends of Glimmerglass State Park Inc., Great Brook Solar NRG LLC, League of Women Voters of the Cooperstown Area, Leatherstocking Envirothon, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Origins Café, Otsego County Conservation Association, Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District, Otsego Lake Association, Otsego Land Trust, Project Buena Vista Inc., Recycling Agricultural Plastics Project, and the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station.
OLF sponsors are Five Star Subaru, Otsego County Conservation Association and the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station. To date, OLF donors include: Henry S. F. Cooper Jr., Cooperstown Distillery, Cooperstown Natural Foods, Geo. Powers Construction Inc., Master Gardener Program Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties, Richard McCaffery, New York Susquehanna and Western Railway, Otsego County Planning and Solid Waste Department, William Rigby, Robert Smith, Smith Ford, and Alfred Tinger.
The Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee was established in 1992 as a sub-committee of the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District. It is comprised of a diverse group of people representing state and local government agencies, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and lake associations. These members have technical expertise and knowledge and are committed to working to improve and maintain the quality of water in Otsego County through the reduction of nonpoint source pollution within its boundaries. The Otsego Lakes Festival is a biennial event designed to educate the public on the importance of water resource protection.
For more about the Otsego Lakes Festival, or for further details on sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, contact Darla M. Youngs, OCWQCC facilitator, at (607) 547-4488. To view the full OLF lineup, see: http://occainfo.org/documents/LakesFestivalLineup2014_000.pdf.
OCCA SPRING NEWSLETTER AVAILABLE ONLINE: The Spring 2014 edition of OCCA’s newsletter, “The Lookout,” is available on the OCCA website at http://occainfo.org/documents/LookoutSpring2014.pdf. Articles include an update on OCCA’s groundwater testing program, “What’s In Our Water?”, information about the proposed Edic to Fraser AC transmission line, and updates on Earth Festival 2014 and the annual “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” Garage Sale.
WIPE OUT WATER CHESTNUT WITH OCCA: Join Otsego County Conservation Association and the Goodyear Lake Association onWednesday, July 9 from 9 a.m. to noon as they continue the effort to remove an invasive plant, water chestnut , from Goodyear Lake, as part of Invasive Species Awareness Week.
“Water chestnut is a highly invasive plant that can take over large areas of a water body in a short period of time,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director and coordinator of the event. “This is our eighth year of working with the Goodyear Lake Association, and we’ve made a significant dent in the water chestnut population.”
In the first days of the program, volunteers removed 10 tons of water chestnut from a part of the lake known as the stump lot. Eliminating the plant there is important to keeping it out of the rest of the lake – or the Susquehanna River, says O’Handley.
“Water chestnut prefers shallow, slow-moving or still water, so the stump lot is ideal. It’s easy for parts of the plant to break away and float downstream, where it can get established. We’re out there trying to make sure that doesn’t happen, and to prevent the plant from taking over the stump lot again.”
Volunteers take to the water in canoes or kayaks and patrol the upper reaches of Goodyear Lake. When water chestnuts are found, they are carefully removed by hand, dropped in the canoe, and eventually disposed of on land.
The objective is to eliminate the infestation with minimal impact on the environment, O’Handley says. “It’s labor intensive, but less disruptive to the environment and non-target species compared to herbicides or mechanical harvesting.”
People interested in joining the efforts should call OCCA ahead of time at 547-4488, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to guarantee space in a canoe. The meeting location is at the New York State fishing access site located on State Route 28 in Portlandville, just south of County Road 35A.
July 6-12 is the first Invasive Species Awareness Week in New York State. The mission of Invasive Species Awareness Week is to promote knowledge and understanding of invasive species to help stop their spread. OCCA is a member of the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership.
BFS PROVIDES OTSEGO LAKE WATER QUALITY DATA: SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station staff monitor Otsego Lake bi-weekly throughout the year (monthly when it’s frozen) for a variety of physical and biological parameters. Past updates of results of this routine monitoring are available here: http://www.oneonta.edu/academics/biofld/waterquality.asp.
OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS:
- Water chestnut eradiation on Goodyear Lake: July 2, 9, 16, 25; August 5, 6, 22, 23.
- Basswood Pond State Forest trail maintenance, July 15
- “Western Exposure, Fetterley Forest Hike, July 18 (co-sponsored with OLT), 5 p.m.
- Adopt-a-Highway clean-up, July 19, 9 a.m.
- “Climb Noah’s What?” hike, July 22, 10 a.m.