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Slowing Down The Herbicides May Help

To The Reader’s Forum:

I’m trying to pay attention to what’s going on with the health of Chautauqua Lake. I’m not a biologist or a botanist or an ecologist — I’m just a citizen. What seems crystal clear to me as I try to look at all sides is that weeds in the lake are annoying. But studies of many freshwater lakes have shown that their aggressive removal can cause devastating problems.

I agree with Rolland Kidder that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) needs to fully assess the work that was done by both Princeton Hydro and Racine-Johnson Aquatic Ecologists in their recent reports on the state of our lake. I think both third-party consultants did credible jobs with scientific integrity within the scope and limitations of what they had to work with in terms of timing, resources and study goals. They sampled different places at different times with different methodologies. I don’t think anyone should “choose which science to believe.” Instead, a scientific peer review should be conducted by an outside expert with no ties to any environmental or government organization in Chautauqua County to reconcile these reports. The DEC or their designee works for me.

Where I sit, it’s a rainy day…in January…when it’s supposed to be snowing. I know from living here that a warm winter with little ice cover can lead to a longer growing season for aquatic plants, which means more weeds in the summer. Oh, boy.

I hope our leaders have the courage to slow down the herbicides — the wisdom to skip them this year — until we have a clearer picture of their impact. It won’t hurt a thing.

Beth Peyton

Bemus Point

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