Reported increases in algae and weeds are having an inconsistent impact on various boating operations on Lake Chautauqua.
Greg Swan, owner of Ready About Sailing, said algae and weed growth in Lake Chautauqua has become an increasing problem in recent years. “The worst part is when the blue-green algae increase.” He said.
Swan said levels of cyanobacteria in the lake were average this year compared to other years. However, based on the information he has seen, algae in the lake continue to grow, affecting his business.
“Water is not very attractive when it is green and smells.” He said. “It discourages boaters from using the lake.”
Swann says part of the problem with managing the state of the lake lies in the different approaches taken by different lake conservation groups. He warned that those responsible for maintaining the lake need to make science-based decisions.
Overgrowth of algae and weeds indicates that the lake has too many nutrients, Swan said.
“If you apply herbicides in large quantities without relying properly on science, it feeds the algae more.” He said.“Weeds are a problem at times, but they haven’t gotten better over the years.”
Swan said one of the main challenges to addressing lake problems is the lack of sustainable sources of funding. He said the county now has limited funding sources that must be renewed annually.
As a result of unsustainable funding, conservation and maintenance agencies compete with each other for resources and are unable to plan properly each year because they are not sure how much funding will be available for the lake each year. thinks Swan.
‘We need a sustainable source of funding for our lakes’ He said. “Part of that problem is competing interests between groups trying to solve these problems. increase.”
Swan said he supports the Chautauqua Lake Conservation and Rehabilitation Authority’s goal of raising revenues to implement measures to improve the lake’s water quality. He emphasized the importance of organizations using scientific tests, investigations, and measurements to determine what work should be done in the future.
One aspect of lake conservation that Swan believes is essential is prevention. He said the county cannot focus solely on the current condition of the lake. I proposed that the county take measures against
“Whatever we do, we must consider prevention.” He said. “We can’t just think about this year. We have to think about the next decade and the generations ahead and how can we prevent this excess of nutrients from causing weed and algae growth? In our experience, $1 spent on prevention is worth $10 spent on cleanup.”
While Swann’s views reflected serious concerns about the state of the lake, Chautauqua Marina owner Deborah Clementi said her business was not affected by the problem and that other parts of the lake were not affected. said it has benefited from various improvement projects in the past.
Clementi said this year’s boating season was a success thanks to favorable weather conditions for boating on Chautauqua Lake.
“Our business depends on the weather.” she said. “It was a great summer. We worked hard, but we had fun.”
Despite hearing reports of algae and weeds growing in other areas of the lake, Clementi said Chautauqua Marina has not experienced any problems in the area surrounding the marina.
Clementi said one reason Chautauqua Marina hasn’t experienced the same problems on the lake is the amount of work the business has put into maintaining the lake area surrounding it and preventing runoff and erosion. suggested.
“Luckily, nothing was seen around the marina area.” she said. “I know it’s been reported on a pretty large scale. I hope you will.”
Chautauqua Marina installed a catch basin about 15 years ago. This prevents harmful substances from entering the lake while people are cleaning or working on their boats in the marina.
Clementi explained that the business encourages clean lakes and tries to do everything it can to protect wildlife.
Over the past few decades, Chautauqua Marina has completed projects that Clementi believes have had a significant impact on water quality.
“We did a project 10 years ago where we recreated 750 feet of waterfront with big boulders and then planted 750 feet of native vegetation to stop erosion and runoff.” she said. “We have another project coming up in the creek area next year, so we are always doing what we can to help the lake organization to protect it. We’re not going to clean this lake in two weeks, it’s taken us years to get here, and we’re very conscious of that.”
According to Clementi, lake conservation and maintenance organizations are constantly working on a variety of issues related to Lake Chautauqua. She said the Chautauqua Lake Association is working to remove excess weeds, the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy is working to protect and eliminate runoff, and the county is showing more interest in special lake projects.
“It’s really a problem and more people are noticing it.” she said. “The more people realize this, the more people will have homes and businesses around the lake, and hopefully they will take the necessary steps to move this forward.”
Clementi said Chautauqua Marina has not publicly expressed a positive or negative opinion about the Lake Chautauqua Conservation and Rehabilitation Authority. She explained that over the summer she did not have time to fully consider CLPRA’s proposals and was aware of the agency’s existence.
Chautauqua Marina doesn’t have a definite opinion, but Clementi said she’s willing to do so. “Do whatever it takes” Improvement and protection of Lake Chautauqua.
“Whatever we have to do, we are certainly willing to move forward and execute as a business.” she said.
Clementi also said that Chautauqua Marina recently demonstrated its commitment to improving the condition of the lake by supporting a fundraiser for the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy.