Testing Ponds and Lakes in the Watershed

Lower Rhoda Pond and Long Lake, two of the area lakes that drain into the Roe Jan Kill, participate in the Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP). CSLAP is a volunteer lake monitoring and education program managed by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Federation of Lake Associations (NYSFOLA). Through this program we monitor and collect important lake data, which is used to understand lake conditions and to develop lake management plans.

Over the last two years we have participated in an additional and new study with Syracuse University, SUNY-CESF, and the Upstate Freshwater Institute, to carry out the project “Citizen Science-Based Monitoring Framework for Contaminants of Emerging Concern in New York State Lakes” funded by the National Science Foundation. Chemicals of emerging concerns (CECs) originate from commonly used pharmaceuticals, pesticides, household chemicals, and personal care products. Since this is a new study with only two years of data collection, it will take time and qualified scientists to evaluate the data trends and understand the ramifications.

Even at this early stage we are learning how human and agricultural contaminants find their way into our groundwater and water bodies. We hope this study will inspire lake and riverside communities to update septic systems, improve stream and lakeside vegetated buffers and setbacks, use environmentally safe personal care products and household products, dispose of pharmaceuticals safely, and support organic agriculture.

For more information, send us a question using the membership form.

-Jamie Purinton, RJWC Board Member