Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance
Minutes of the Board of Directors – Work Session
Thursday, August 11, 2022
4:30 p.m. at the BWB Building, 201 West 3rd St. Jamestown, NY 14701 & via Zoom
Directors Present: Bruce Erickson (Zoom), Don Emhardt, Paul (P.J.) Wendel, Jr. (Zoom), Ellen Barnes, Janis Bowman, and Martin Proctor
Directors Absent: David Shepherd, Jim Andrews, Mike LaTone
Staff in Attendance: Randall Perry – Alliance Executive Director, Taylor West – Alliance Project Manager, and Jay Young– Alliance Communications Coordinator.
I. Call to Order
D. Emhardt called the Board Meeting of the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance) to order at 4:31 PM. A quorum of 6 out of 9 Alliance Board Members were present at the start of the meeting.
II. Approval of the 7/14/22 Board Meeting Minutes
E. Barnes made a motion to accept the minutes from the 7/14/22 Board Meeting. The motion was seconded by J. Bowman and was approved unanimously.
III. Discussion of Alliance Mission
B. Erickson indicated that he had engaged in communication with J. Wehrfritz regarding his comments about updating the Alliance Mission Statement. B. Erickson suggested that the topic be tabled by the Board until a future time.
J. Bowman indicated that these discussions were related to algae not being mentioned in the Alliance’s Mission Statement.
B. Erickson indicated that was correct, as well as the inclusion of ‘management’ in the organization’s name.
IV. Discussion of Potential DAR Committee Request(s)
R. Perry provided a summary to the Board related to dialogue and topics discussed at the July Board Meeting and elsewhere recently.
R. Perry outlined information related to the ongoing legal proceedings between the Lake George Association and the New York State Adirondack Park Agency and the proposed used of ProcellaCOR EC on Lake George.
J. Bowman indicated that the position of the Lake George Association includes concerns about the ecological impacts of the use of ProcellaCOR in that lake for the first time.
R. Perry indicated that more detailed information about the matter is available online.
M. Proctor asked if the information being presented to the Board had been sent out yet.
R. Perry indicated he will be sending it to the Board via email after the meeting.
R. Perry outlined information about the past use of ProcellaCOR EC on Chautauqua Lake, including information about the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) registration of the herbicide, reduced risk status under the Environmental Protection Agency, and evaluations of potential human and ecosystem health impacts. R. Perry outlined portions of the 2020 Independent Third Party Monitoring conducted by Princeton Hydro, use restrictions for the herbicide, specimen label information, and other technical information.
J. Bowman asked what native plant species were identified in the monitoring area and indicated that certain native species are identified to be more susceptible to ProcellaCOR.
R. Perry indicated that the report includes evaluations of all native and invasive plant communities that were observed in the monitoring area at the times of the surveys. R. Perry indicated that the full report on the Alliance website would have that information.
R. Perry outlined information from the ProcellaCOR EC label regarding the movement of water in application areas and the NYSDEC’s interpretations of “slow-moving/quiescent waters” terminology included on the label.
M. Proctor asked for more information on what constitutes a “foliar” application.
R. Perry indicated that it would be when an applicator deploys the herbicide at the surface of the water onto plants, rather than via a subsurface injection.
J. Bowman indicated that it is unfortunate that there is a harvesting moratorium on plants treated with ProcellaCOR EC. J. Bowman indicated that one of the benefits of harvesting is that plant material can be removed and composted. J. Bowman indicated that limiting the ability to compost harvested plant material would have a negative effect on the sustainability and efficiency of the plant management program.
P. Wendel asked if there are any herbicides that can be used which would allow for composting or fertilizing.
J. Bowman indicated that the plant composting did not appear to be such an issue for past uses of Aquathol K on the lake.
B. Erickson indicated that in the past, composting has been avoided for plants treated with herbicides.
R. Perry reviewed matters associated with Alliance membership as well as language from the County’s 2021 Chautauqua Lake Memorandum of Understanding. R. Perry provided an update on Chautauqua Lake macrophyte conditions, including planned plant surveys, data gathered by the Alliance under the Chautauqua Lake Aquatic Data Mapping program, and GIS archiving of management actions. R. Perry provided a summary of the various datasets that are available that could be used to support any Board requests for information from the DAR Committee.
J. Bowman asked how such information moves between relevant parties, such as the DAR Committee. J. Bowman asked how such information is used to inform decisions and produce reliable conclusions.
R. Perry provided additional information on how certain data and questions have been distributed in the past, and some of the considerations when the Board makes requests from the DAR Committee, such as timeframes and deliverables.
J. Bowman indicated that we should have a clear line connecting data gathered by scientists working on the lake and management decision making.
P. Wendel indicated that he will be meeting again soon with members of The Jefferson Project, and outlined how the public-private partnership has been working towards expanding the role Chautauqua Lake could play in the future. P. Wendel indicated that there is a great deal of potential to continue and expand these research programs in the County if there is cooperation.
B. Erickson indicated that the Chautauqua Lake Association has been working with The Jefferson Project to assist with sampling related to HABs. B. Erickson indicated that this data should become more accessible as the partnership develops.
J. Bowman asked how some of this data can be brought to bear for the coming round of Alliance funding decisions.
R. Perry offered an example of how certain data sets may be used in the near-term to help in the prioritization of projects. R. Perry indicated he would be happy to work with Board Members on that question moving forward.
J. Bowman asked for a clarification on the role of the DAR Committee.
R. Perry offered to share examples of how the DAR Committee has been engaged in the past. R. Perry indicated that requests to the DAR Committee would come from the Alliance Board, and deliverables from the DAR Committee would be directed to the Alliance Board.
J. Bowman indicated her support for utilizing the resource moving forward.
B. Erickson indicated that D. Shepherd has taken this task on and is continuing to work with the DAR Committee as Board liaison on how the DAR Committee and Board can improve their working relationship.
V. 2022 Alliance Local Grants Update
a.) Status of Awards Made to Date
R. Perry outlined the Alliance funds that have been allocated and distributed for in-lake maintenance this year, including comparisons to the previous year.
D. Emhardt provided clarification on budgeting and expenses for the Mobitrac program, including increased labor and fuel costs.
b.) Remaining unallocated funds
R. Perry indicated that there is $50,000 of unallocated funding from Chautauqua County and $25,000 of unallocated funding from the Holmberg Foundation available for 2022. R. Perry indicated that additional investments in nearshore/shoreline cleanup may provide the most benefit to lake users and residents at the end of the season based on the lake management options that are currently available.
J. Bowman asked for clarification on the funds that were still unallocated.
B. Erickson indicated that the CLA has also been dealing with increased trucking and fuel costs, and indicated that with their current funding picture they are unlikely to work as late into the season as they did in 2021.
J. Bowman indicated that at this point the CLA are the ones doing lake management, and asked for a clarification on the funds provided by the Holmberg Foundation.
R. Perry indicated that those funds need only to be used within the lake and/or the Chautauqua Lake watershed.
P. Wendel made a motion to allocate $40,000 of the remaining County funds to the CLP as a pass through for the purchase of a new Mobitrac, to be operated in the South Basin that would focus on problematic areas such as Burtis Bay. P. Wendel indicated his support for allocating the remaining $35,000 to the CLA for operations.
P. Wendel asked if R. Perry would provide some information on recent conversations with County Watershed Coordinator Dave McCoy about the possible purchase of new Mobitracs.
R. Perry indicated that D. McCoy indicated that he may have money available in his budget that could be used to purchase an additional Mobitrac or Mobitracs. R. Perry indicated that if funds were awarded by the Alliance Board, it appears they could be used as part of a cost share for the purchase of either one or two new Mobitracs.
A discussion followed of the existing Mobitrac fleet, their operations, potential increased operational costs associated with additional equipment, labor challenges, Mobitrac ownership by municipalities versus not-for-profit organizations, and needs for supporting equipment.
D. Emhardt indicated that more information and discussion are needed before making a decision to purchase a new Mobitrac. P. Wendel indicated that he supports the investment in additional Mobitracs but indicated that additional details are needed. The initial motion did not receive a second.
M. Proctor made a motion to allocate $25,000 in Holmberg funding to the CLA for operations. The motion was seconded by J. Bowman and was passed unanimously (Abstain: B. Erickson).
J. Bowman made a motion to allocate $10,000 in Chautauqua County funding to the CLA for operations. The motion was seconded by M. Proctor and was passed unanimously (Abstain: B. Erickson).
VI. 2022 NYS Consolidated Funding Application (NYSCFA) Update
R. Perry indicated that the Alliance was pleased to submit or aid in the submission of four NYSCFA grant applications, consistent with the update that was shared at the 7/14/22 board meeting. R. Perry indicated that news on those applications is expected around December 2022.
VII. 2022-2023 Alliance Consolidated Local Funding Program Update —Request for Applications (RFA) and Board Process
R. Perry indicated that applications for the Alliance Consolidated Local Funding Program are due by September 7, 2022, and outlined the process of the initial technical review and Board review.
P. Wendel indicated he was aware of communication from City of Jamestown officials regarding a lack of public notification of a potential herbicide treatment. P. Wendel asked for clarification on the notification process.
B. Erickson indicated that Fancher Chair in Falconer had been notified of the application for a second treatment.
R. Perry indicated that the licensed applicator (SOLitude Lake Management), Chautauqua Lake Partnership, or NYSDEC would likely be appropriate sources of information on what notifications were required.
D. Emhardt shared comments related to recent correspondences with Burtis Bay residents related to lake conditions and services.
J. Bowman shared information on conditions observed in the Chadakoin River, including algae.
M. Proctor asked for clarification on the relationship between algae and plant growth.
J. Bowman indicated that as plants die off they can release nutrients that can promote the growth of algae.
B. Erickson made a motion to adjourn at 6:23 p.m. The motion was seconded by D. Emhardt and carried unanimously.
The Alliance Board of Directors passed a motion to approve these 08/11/22 Meeting Minutes on 9/8/22.