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Water Quality Research Panel Will Go Virtual On July 18

The Chautauqua Lake Water Quality Research Panel will be held online on July 18, and will include a forum with scientific researchers working on problems like the increased curly-leaf pondweed growth as seen above in Burtis Bay. Submitted Photo

Due to COVID-19, the Chautauqua Lake Water Quality Research Panel has been moved online and scheduled for Saturday, July 18, at 9:30 a.m.

The forum will include presentations from researchers at the State University of New York at Fredonia, Bowling Green State University and The Jefferson Project at Lake George.

The event is free and open to the public, and will be hosted on the Chautauqua Institution Virtual Porch. Organizers are requesting that attendees pre-register starting on June 29 by visiting CLWMA.chq.org.

The Chautauqua Lake & Watershed Management Alliance will hold its July public board meeting online at the conclusion of the panel as well.

In order to help determine the effectiveness of lake maintenance strategies there are ongoing data collection efforts, including third-party monitoring of herbicide treatment by Princeton Hydro. The alliance and other lake organizations and municipalities will also make use of data being gathered by scientists from Bowling Green related to harmful algael blooms, and GPS location information in place on barges and Mobitracs.

Early growth of curly-leaf pondweed has spurred speculation about possible causes, but definitive conclusions require strong support from unbiased data.

“Everyone has kind of a gut feel for what they think, cause and effect,” Interim Alliance Executive Director Vince Horrigan said. “But–it is about the data and about careful analysis of the data.”

On the issue of curly-leaf pondweed growth, Horrigan noted the range of factors that can contribute to that, including water temperatures. While it may be tempting to draw a direct correlation between the growth and herbicide treatment or other strategies used last year, those correlations would have to be supported by data from scientists like those conducting the research panel.

“Like so many things, mother nature decides. I don’t think you can, with certainty, make a direct correlation,” Horrigan said.

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