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Registration opens for Owasco Lake “OWN IT” workshop

DATE: 02-15-2012

The registration is now open for "Owasco Lake... OWN IT," a free, two-part workshop focused on the current condition of Owasco Lake and opportunities for citizen involvement. The workshop runs from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 3 at the Bisgrove Community Theatre at Cayuga Community College, 197 Franklin. St., Auburn.

The workshop includes an optional afternoon special training session from 1 to 3:30 p.m. (on March 3) for citizens who want to participate in the long-term protection of the lake. Registration for the morning session will remain open until the day of the event, Saturday, March 3.

The workshop will cover a variety of topics about the lake, including the current conditions, sources of nutrients, and invasive species. Participants will also learn about ways they can get involved in advocacy and can try out iMapInvasives hands-on training.

During the morning session, scientists John Halfman and Barry Evans will present their findings on studies that each has conducted on Owasco Lake, the primary drinking water supply for the City of Auburn and many surrounding towns. As an important recreational destination, it is also used for swimming, boating, fishing and purely aesthetic appreciation. The lake supplies water via the Owasco River for power generation, Seneca canal "level" control, and the lake and river provide sewage treatment dilution.

Halfman's picture of phosphorus levels during the summer created concern when it was clear that high levels of phosphorus had again been discharged into the lake from the Groton Sewage treatment plant. His work is supported by the Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency and the Owasco Watershed Lake Association.

Evans completed the only nutrient allocation model for Owasco Lake. This milestone work uses a combination of science and geospatial technology to identify and estimate the sources of nutrients entering the lake from throughout the watershed. Nutrients remain a primary threat to the condition of the lake. His work was supported by the Institute for the Application of Geospatial Technology at Cayuga Community College.

The registration for the afternoon training will be on a first-come, first-served basis with only 25 seats available. The afternoon workshop is a hands-on training program by iMapInvasives, a multi-state program focused on invasive species. For more details, see http://imapinvasives.org/nyimi/map/.

To register by phone or for additional information, call 315-252-8669. Online registration opened on February 3 at: www.Owascolake.org.