Institution Issues Careless Statements About Lake

To the Reader’s Forum:

Two front-page articles which appeared in The Post-Journal on Aug. 14, 2018, discussing actions and statements made by the leadership of the Chautauqua Institution should be of great concern to lake residents.

The first article details an institution lawsuit, outlining unsubstantiated allegations against the DEC and local municipalities. In my opinion it is their second frivolously veiled attempt to halt the scientific evaluation of the ongoing herbicide process. Their first lawsuit was dismissed. If the suit upsets the DEC timetable, it may prevent herbicide application in 2019.

The second article alleges, “Herbicides May Increase Algae Blooms.” An algae bloom is defined by the website is a cyanobacteria bloom caused by excessive nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen), abundant sunlight, calm or stagnant water conditions, with warm temperatures. According to the United States Geological Survey, Water Science School, large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus in waterways comes from agricultural fertilizer run-off or wastewater treatment plants which are ill equipped to remove these nutrients. Scientifically applied herbicides are not a factor.

It is most discerning that the Chautauqua Institution, an internationally respected forum for the discussion of political and social issues as well as the arts and recreation would make carelessly stated opinions rather than scientifically established facts.

Gary R. Peters Sr.