Jane Forbes Clark, President of The Fernleigh Foundation, announced today that The Board of Directors has approved a $9,695 grant to SUNY Oneonta’s Biological Field Station (BFS) to do twice a week testing on Otsego Lake to better monitor the effect of the recent Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs).
“It is important that science and data drive our decisions about the impact of the HABs,” said Miss Clark. “There is not a local organization better equipped to do that than the Biological Field Station.”
Dr. Willard “Bill” Harman, CLM, Distinguished Service Professor, Rufus J. Thayer Otsego Lake Research Chair, and Director, SUNY Oneonta BFS, explained that “the HABs typically start in deeper waters, deriving nutrients from the bottom muds, which have been deposited there annually for as long as the lake has been in existence, then visible blooms sometimes rise to the surface.
Water in a lake can be practically devoid of nutrients and still have HABs because of the legacy phosphorus in the sediments. The prevailing opinion of my colleagues are that longer seasons of open warmer water in combination with hot days in late summer into the fall are the immediate cause. It is another real example of global warming having its negative impact on a local level.”
The testing will take place at eight different locations around Otsego Lake: BFS’ Thayer Boathouse, the BFS dock, Cooperstown Country Club, Fairy Springs, Glimmerglass State Park Beach, Springfield Public Landing, Three Mile Point, and at the mid-point of the lake.
Test results will be posted on the BFS website (www.sunv.oneonta.edu/biological-field-station) and distributed to local officials and community organizations including the Village of Cooperstown, Town of Middlefield, Town of Springfield, Otsego Lake Association and Glimmerglass State Park. “We will be meticulous in our collection of the samples and our reporting of the data,” said Dr. Harman.
“As we have for many years, we again look to Bill Harman and his BFS team to provide us the information we need to best understand the health of our beautiful lake,” said Miss Clark. “Homeowners, businesses, farmers and others can look to them for guidance between now and when colder weather arrives in the fall and the HABs will begin to dissipate and then disappear.”