Otsego Lake Association (OLA) board members have been working on a project to help fund the repair on the weather station buoy just beyond Five Mile Point.
“The buoy is just north of Five Mile Point in the middle of the lake. It’s called a Continuing Lake Monitoring Buoy (CLMB),” Debra Creedon, OLA board member, said.
“The CLMB is a computer that is encased and sub-merged that monitors wind direction and speed, air and water temperatures, precipitation and light levels among other things. It gathers important research, which provides high-frequency data for lake and climate research worldwide,” Jim Howarth, co-president of OLA, said.
“It goes into a national database of lakes all over the world. They compare our lake conditions with other lakes to determine trends, diseases, etc.” Mr. Horwath said.
Part of this buoy is the weather station. Many years ago the buoy was purchased with a grant. Because some of the buoy sticks up out of the water, conditions cause deterioration.
According to Dr. Yokota, Associate Professor of Biology at SUNY Oneonta, the weather station part of the multiifunctional unit is working at about 70 percent.
“The parts that are not working are wind direction and barometric pressure,” she said.
“This OLA funding will help us add to the current weather station to make it work at 100-percent capacity,” Dr. Yokota said.
“Because the weather station has to be open to the water, it deteriorates faster. The scientific buoy goes into the water when the ice melts around April/May, then it comes back out of the water around November. It’s in most of the year,” Ms. VanHeusen said.
You might have seen the marker that is set in place of the scientific buoy when the buoy is out of the water.
“Everyone thinks a spaceship has landed on the lake!” she said. “There are these funny looking things that stick up out of the water!” Ms. VanHeusen said.
The buoy sends all of the data it collects to the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station and it is posted on their website.
“It’s a live feed on their website that updates every fifteen minutes. It’s very useful to rowers and sailors as well as the scientists and their research projects,” Ms. VanHeusen said.
OLA members are not the scientists; they support the Biological Field Station.
OLA’s mission: to educate, advocate, and actively participate in protecting the health, beauty, and well being of Otsego Lake by facilitating the implementation of the Otsego Lake Watershed Management Plan
“Our goal is to keep the lake as healthy as possible. We work with all of the different organizations that are dedicated to a healthy lake; OLA is the only organization that is dedicated strictly to the lake,” Ms. VanHeusen said.
“We needed to raise money for the repairs. This year we had a raffle for a seven-night stay at Cypress Pointe Resort in Buena Vista, Florida. This year’s winner was Donna Sawyer from Cooperstown,” said Ms. Creedon. “Vera Talevi generously donated her condo to OLA to help raise funds.”
They needed to raise around $2,300 to repair the station and to help the Biological Field Station pay for yearly maintenance. “After we started this raffle, SUNY Oneonta said that if we were successful, they would match up to $1,000,” Ms. Van Husen said. “We made our goal!”