Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance
Minutes of the Board of Directors – Public Meeting
Thursday, September 12, 2019
4:30 p.m. at Stow Senior Center
Directors Present for Entire Meeting: Jim Andrews, Pierre Chagnon, Ted McCague
Directors Present for Part of the Meeting: George Borrello and Mike LaTone
Absent: Bruce Erickson, Rob Yates, and Dave Shepherd
Staff in Attendance: Randall Perry – Alliance Project Manager, Taylor West – Alliance Communications Coordinator
Others in Attendance: Tory Irgang – Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, Don McCord – Chautauqua County Department of Planning, Marty Proctor – Chautauqua County Legislature, Jessica Wuerstle – Chautauqua County Department of Health. Interested citizens: Doug Champ, Vince Horrigan, Mary Hutchings, Don Hutchings, Sam Hazen, Mike and Peggy Newell, Caroline Bissell, Bill Flanders, Richard Spratt, GC Barglund, David Carlson, Regis Thompson, Gary Prado, Craig Butler, Sue Weaver, Bill Hawkins, Kathy Yanus, Howard Akin, Patrick Duffy, Jan Bowman, Chris Flanders, Kaitlyn Whalen, Jim Wehrfritz & Bob Wooler.
Member Representatives in Attendance: John Jablonski, Becky Nystrom, Ruth Wahl, Craig Seger, Mike Jabot– Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy (CWC); Debbie Moore– Chautauqua Lake Association (CLA); Karen Rine – South & Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer District; Jim Cirbus & Frank Nicotra – Chautauqua Lake Partnership (CLP); Dave McCoy – Chautauqua County; Cassie Pinkoski – Chautauqua County Soil & Water Conservation District (CCSWCD); Shannon Rozner– Chautauqua Institution; Scott Schrecengost – Village of Celoron.
I. Call to Order
Quorum was not present at this meeting. No motion could be made.
II. Approval of 8/19/19 Board Work Session Minutes
Quorum was not achieved; therefore no motion could be made.
III. Presentation by Dr. Fred Lubnow of Princeton Hydro
Dr. Fred Lubnow from Princeton Hydro presented publically on the results of their independent third-party monitoring of 2019 herbicide treatments in Chautauqua Lake. The presentation started at 4:33 PM and concluded at 5:20 PM. The PowerPoint presentation given at this meeting is attached to these minutes. The presentation was followed by a question and answer session which is outlined below (Q = Question; A = Answer; and C = Comment):
Q: J. Wehrfritz – When is post treatment?
A: F. Lubnow – I’ll show you a table later.
Q: J. Jablonski – What is the target threshold?
A: F. Lubnow – I don’t have that information at my fingertips, but it is in the report.
Q: J. Wehrfritz – Doesn’t the previous chart have dosages in PPM?
A: F. Lubnow – The chart is in the report. Target concentrations were 2-4 PPM but the values are shown in in PPB.
Q: J. Cirbus – What does the P-value compare?
A: F. Lubnow – It compares pre-treatment versus post-treatment
Q: J. Wehrfritz – Post-treatment was 2 weeks later right?
A: F. Lubnow – Yes it was (corrected later in presentation by Dr. Lubnow to about 4 weeks)
Q: J. Cirbus – Why was the decrease in Eurasian watermilfoil not statistically significant? Was it due to the timing of the treatment and/or the lifecycle of the plant?
A: F. Lubnow – It may have been due to the timing and the type of herbicides used. The herbicide 2, 4-D has a slower release which is meant to impact the milfoil in the early stages of its life cycle.
Q: J. Jablonski – Was the data compared to all sites, or just the control sites?
A: F. Lubnow – It was across all sites
Q: J. Jablonski – What was the last date you performed monitoring?
A: F. Lubnow – It was early (06/12/19), which followed the set of dates agreed upon in the contract between the Alliance and Princeton Hydro.
Q: J. Cirbus – Is it drift or diffusion?
A: F. Lubnow – Drift and diffusion are essentially the same. You are going from PPM to PPB and the drift concentrations were in PPB which is lower than PPM by a magnitude of 3 (1 ppm = 1000 ppb).
Q: J. Wehrfritz – Did you compare the diffusion or drift to the NYS DEC Drift Model?
A: No I did not. Our senior limnologist may have looked at those resources, but did not make the direct comparisons.
Q: D. Champ – On a “graded average” how successful was the herbicide program?
A: F. Lubnow – Data in August would increase my confidence but June data were promising. Later season chemical and macrophyte data would be more beneficial in order to make this conclusion. For example, many of our clients do treatments approximately every 2-3 years, then pause to re-assess. You may want to consider a repeat treatment in targeted locations while also treating new problematic locations.
Q: D. Champ – Would it be more effective to perform 2 separate treatments for curly-leaf pondweed and Eurasian watermilfoil?
A: F. Lubnow – After a mild winter, curly-leaf pondweed should be targeted earlier than Eurasian watermilfoil, but if there was a long/hard winter then curly-leaf pondweed and Eurasian watermilfoil could be treated together.
Q: D. Champ – Did the timing of the application impact the growth of milfoil?
A: F. Lubnow – Yes, the use of 2, 4-D (a slow release herbicide) allowed for a slower assimilation of herbicides into the roots of the plants.
C: J. Cirbus – We wanted to treat 3 weeks earlier.
Q: J. Wehrfritz – What are your suggestions regarding the timing if the post-treatment assessment?
A: F. Lubnow – Late July or early August are preferable times to sample.
Q: D. Moore – Is your review of the MOA included in the report?
A: F. Lubnow – That is included in the report
Q: D. Moore – Did you review the MMS as part of this project?
A: F. Lubnow – No, we did not review that document.
Q: J. Jablonski – Does depressing curly-leaf pondweed growth inhibit other natives?
A: F. Lubnow – The goal is to get the curly-leaf pondweed before the production of turions. Reducing curly-leaf pondweed should promote native macrophyte growth.
Q: J. Wehrfritz – There were not recognizable impacts to natives right?
A: F. Lubnow – Right.
Q: Member of the Public – What is the impact on organisms (other than plants)?
A: F. Lubnow – We looked at threshold concentrations, but most were much higher than what was measured in-lake. Jessie did not see much evidence of herbivory, but noted some caddis flies on stargrass.
Q: Member of the Public – Does the death of curly-leaf pondweed help fertilize other weeds?
A: F. Lubnow – Yes, but it also helps Eurasian watermilfoil and mat algae (i.e., horsehair & and typically non HAB forming species). It would help anything that takes advantage of that space.
Q: Member of the Public – Do you have any data on gradient concentrations of the herbicides?
A: F. Lubnow – No, our chemical sampling protocols did not get into enough detail to get gradient concentrations.
Q: Member of the Public – Does curly-leaf pondweed death promote mat algae species?
A: F. Lubnow – It promotes growth of a wide variety of species which does include mat algae.
Q: Member of the Public – How do we access the report?
A: R. Perry – The report will be made available on the Alliance website “soon”. The Alliance will send a mass email when the report is available. Princeton Hydro has a few minor edits to make to the final report before it is made publically available.
Q: J. Jablonski – Will the raw data be included in the report?
A: F. Lubnow – Yes, all raw data will be included in the report.
Final Q&A concluded at 5:45 PM.
IV. Update on Current Alliance/Member Projects
R. Perry gave an update on the status of the eleven state funded Alliance/Member projects in progress:
- 2015 County Round 12 Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) Grants – Streambank Stabilizations:
- Dutch Hollow Creek & West Dutch Hollow Creek:
- Construction complete at Dutch Hollow Creek Main Stem (2018) – now tracking vegetative establishment and project performance.
- Construction substantially complete at West Dutch Hollow Creek (2018) – working with property owner and contractor to retire final punch-list items.
- Time extension request approved by NYSDEC to utilize surplus funding to address erosion issues at additional nearby section of Dutch Hollow Creek; coordination among County/Alliance/Owners in progress.
- Ball Creek: Bank/grade stabilization complete (2017); Site preparation for additional riparian native plant establishment in progress; Native grass/wildflower seeding completed by CWC and SWCD in May 2019; Site preparation and planting-related work to continue in 2019.
- Goose Creek: No significant change; construction phase complete (2018) by outside contractor.
- Bemus Creek: No significant change; construction phase complete (2016-2017) by Soil & Water.
- Prendergast Creek: No significant change; construction phase complete (2016) by Soil & Water.
- Dutch Hollow Creek & West Dutch Hollow Creek:
- 2017 Celoron Park Improvement Phase IV Design & Construction (amenities building) LWRP grant
- Construction bids received by Village 6/11/19; Award and final contracting in progress
- Target construction start ca. September 2019
- 2017 Mayville-Chautauqua Stormwater Mgmt. Engineering Study (NYS DEC/EFC Engineering Planning Grant)
- Engineering Report submitted to NYS EFC/DEC for review 5/31/19.
- Revisions underway by Barton & Loguidice; final report anticipated ca. Oct 2019
- 2018 Invasive Species Early Detection – Volunteer Task Force
- 2019 program is nearly complete – partnership among Alliance, RTPI, and Evergreen Outfitters.
- One (1) Remaining Evening Seminar Event at RTPI (NO RSVP required): 9/17/19 at 6 PM
- Four (4) Field Events completed for 2019; no remaining field events in 2019
- Successful collaboration with WNY PRISM to address Water Chestnut found in Chautauqua Lake Outlet in August 2019 (see photos)
- Please contact Taylor West if you are interested in participating in 2020 Volunteer Invasive Plant Paddles.
- 2018 Lakewood Chautauqua Avenue Green Street Retrofit (NYSEFC GIGP)
- EFC Grant Agreement between Village and EFC executed August 2019
- Request for Proposals to select project engineer released; PROPOSALS DUE 9/25/19
- 2018 Busti Precision Swales Stabilization (NYSDEC WQIP)
- NYS-Town contract is complete
- Request for Proposals to select project engineer anticipated for September 2019
- 2018 Skimming Capital Equipment (NYSDEC WQIP)
- NYS-County contract setup is in final step
- County received sealed bids 9/5/19; Evaluation/award in progress
- List of Alliance-partnered NYS grants that have been closed out:
- 2015 NYS Invasive Species Management Grant (C. Young Senate Initiative), closed ca. April 2019
- 2016 Lakewood-Busti Stormwater Mgmt. Engineering Study (DEC/EFC EPG), closed ca. January 2019
- 2013 Celoron Breakwall & Boardwalk LWRP Phase I Grant, closed ca. September 2018
- 2016 Celoron Breakwall & Boardwalk LWRP Phase II-III Grant, closed ca. August 2019
K. Rine: What is the status of the skimming equipment? R. Perry gave a brief overview regarding the status of the skimming equipment.
A member of the public inquired about the status of the $65 million that was designated for 12 NYS lakes. P. Chagnon stated the first thing NYS DEC did was prepare an action plan for those 12 lakes. Then the money was no longer designated for the 12 lakes and was made available through a grant process that anyone can apply to. The 12 lakes are supposed to be given priority over other lakes in the state that apply for funding.
V. Update on formation of the Lake Management Committee as recommended by the Ad-Hoc Committee
B. Erickson was not present to provide update on the Lake Management Committee
VI. P. Chagnon Provided the Following Updates:
- Resignation of Alliance board member Mary Laumer: CWC representative
- Now there is an opening on the Board and the CWC has chosen to nominate Mike Jabot to fill the vacancy. Mike is a professor of science at SUNY Fredonia and serves on the CWC Board. The Alliance Board is considering his nomination.
- Lenna Foundation Grant
- Grant to continue shoreline cleanup by the CLA through September in both the North and South basin of Chautauqua Lake in order to avoid another event like Burtis Bay last year.
- Resignation of Alliance Executive Director Erin Brickley
- The Alliance will bring in an interim Executive Director to serve for “a couple of months” to assess the needs of the organization, talk to members, and bring a recommendation to the board
- Vince Horrigan has accepted the position of Interim Executive Director
- The Alliance Board and Staff are delighted to have him help
VII. Open discussion of plans for 2020 herbicide treatment of Chautauqua Lake
A member of the public inquired about the status of the lake district. P. Chagnon stated the agency met last night and they are not quickly coming to a consensus regarding the framework of the lake district. There are 5 options currently on the table, none of which members have been able to come to consensus on. When the agency does come to consensus, they will bring a recommendation to the legislature for them to vote on. P. Chagnon also stated the agency will be seeking more public input in the future when they reconvene in 2 months. J. Wehrfritz asked when the agency’s recommendation goes to the legislature will public input be sought? P. Chagnon responded stating the agency is done when the recommendation is made. The legislature decides when and how to proceed.
D. Champ inquired about the cost of the 2019 herbicide treatments. D. McCoy responded stating the herbicide application cost approximately $331,000 and the pre-permit surveys cost approximately $35,000 for a total of $366,000.
D. Champ asked how the 2020 herbicide treatments will be funded. J. Cirbus responded stating the CLP is applying for NYS CFA grants for herbicides, but they do not think they will be awarded those grants. J. Cirbus stated the CLP is also applying to the Alliance through the Alliance RFA process and is hopeful secure $400,000 to fund the whole 2020 herbicide program.
VIII. Open Floor: Member Representatives and Community Members in Attendance
J. Cirbus stated the CLP in partnership with Bowling Green University will be deploying 2 phosphorus sensors in Chautauqua Lake next week. One will be deployed in the North Basin and the other will be deployed in the South Basin. J. Cirbus stated the CLP wanted 6 of these buoys, but only had the money to purchase two (2). These sensors will contribute data to a much larger project being conducted by the Great Lakes Center for Water Quality and Human Health.
S. Schrecengost requested the deployment of Mobitracs in Burtis Bay should they experience similar conditions as last year.
D. Moore stated the CLA has been in communication with the Town of Chautauqua about working together with the Mobitracs. D. Moore also stated the CLA is actively trying to get info from CLP and Town of Ellery on exact treatment areas and restrictions. D. Moore expressed her concerns about the public notification systems that are in place stating the public should be notified of the exact treatment locations and the specific water use restrictions associated with those treatment areas. D. Moore asked the Alliance to gather this information and make it available to the public.
A member of the public stated they were very thankful for the 2019 herbicide treatments and expressed interest in 2020 treatments.
J. Cirbus acknowledges opponents and responded to criticisms made by D. Moore.
J. Jablonski made additional comments regarding the notifications that were sent to riparian owners.
J. Cirbus stated riparian owners were notified per NYS DEC requirements. M. LaTone stated the NYS DEC tells the CLP and Town of Ellery who to notify. This was followed by cross-conversation between J. Cirbus, D. Moore, and S. Schrecengost.
No formal motion could be made to adjourn the meeting as a quorum was not present. The meeting unofficially adjourned at 6:07 PM.