GENEVA – Whatever body of water Finger Lakes residents feel at home near, it is vitally important to the daily lives of those who live around and on them, as well as for those who depend on them. of the entire watershed of one of the Finger Lakes in their daily lives. Lives.
With a large amount of farms and vineyards surrounding each of the lakes, constant sampling and analysis of lake and stream water is essential to ensure that the quality remains high.
The Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges is dedicated to promoting environmental research and education on the Finger Lakes and surrounding environments. In collaboration with regional environmental partners and state and local government offices, the institute promotes environmentally friendly development practices throughout the region and disseminates the accumulated knowledge to the public.
Bill Ebert is one of the many volunteers working for FLI. Part of his work on Cayuga Lake focuses on testing nutrient levels in the streams surrounding the longest Finger Lake, as well as looking for harmful algal blooms.
Ebert lives on the lake and has said that one of his main reasons for volunteering is simple.
âI live by the lake and the health of the lake is very important to me,â he said.
Ebert and FLI’s basic work in collecting and analyzing water samples helps identify potential problems the lake will encounter in the near or distant future.
In addition, Ebert volunteered for other programs involving the health of the lakes.
âThe first was with the Cayuga Lake watershed network,â Ebert said. “They oversee and do things with the whole watershed.”
Ebert is a member of the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network board of directors and chair of the water quality committee.
The Cayuga Lake Watershed Network identifies potential threats to the lake and its surrounding watershed and keeps people informed through its newsletter, website and programs.
Ebert was the 2019 recipient of the David Morehouse Award for his contributions to the protection of water resources in the Cayuga Lake watershed.
While performing water analyzes and sampling for the Cayuga Lake watershed network, Ebert met current FLI director Lisa Cleckner and got involved in sampling various streams around the lake. Cayuga.
âWe sampled a few streams here: Red Creek, Burrough’s Creek, and a couple that flow into Cayuga Marsh,â Ebert said.
After working with Cleckner to sample various streams in the Cayuga watershed, Ebert got involved with the FLI last summer – and he continues his volunteer work on Cayuga Lake, as well as his network of watersheds.
âYou can interact with a lot of people who are really, really interested in taking care of the lake,â Ebert said. âIt’s an interesting activity. We can see the results of the sampling and learn more about the issues the lake might face today and in the future. “