CSLAP: Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program
Volunteers Train for Lake Water Monitoring
On August 15, several volunteers took part in a morning training session to learn how to take water samples from Kirk Lake, as part of CSLAP: the Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program. Learning standardized procedures and protocols, each volunteer took turns using a Secchi disk to assess water clarity, pulling water samples using a Kemmerer bottle, taking water temperature measurements, and assessing the lake's current conditions in terms of aquatic plants and algae. 
KLWA Board member Abby Grow, and Lake Management Committee members Susan and Art Nicoletti and Barbara Schumacher did a fantastic job throughout the sometimes tedious process of careful measurements and meticulous lab techniques. And despite the threat of rain -- OK, and a brief shower -- the group was cheery and productive.  
KLWA President Joe Montuori trained today's volunteers to provide much needed help in this biweekly operation. Joe was trained by NYS's Department of Environmental Conservation and NYSFOLA, the federation of NY lake associations. 
CSLAP water monitoring will provide KLWA with a baseline of water quality information, and evidence of progress as we implement our watershed management program.
The program has its own acronym, CSLAP (pronounced see-slap), which stands for Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program. This program will enable KLWA to determine the specific sources of Kirk Lake’s problems, and that will help us to choose the most appropriate and effective long-term solutions.

The algae tests are analyzed by a laboratory in Syracuse once every two weeks, or more often in the event of a bloom. DEC is developing a protocol for faster communications of the results, including recommendations for swimming. Because Kirk Lake has no public beaches, the decision to swim or not is left to individuals and the two neighborhood beach associations on the lake. For more information, contact your beach association.

Actions You Can Take

Long term solutions will require significant study and resources. But they can (and will!) be done.  In the meantime, maintaining your septic system, cleaning up pet waste, denying geese an opportunity to feed and leave their waste on our beaches, and NOT fertilizing with phosphorus will go a long way to keeping blooms smaller and shorter. More on long-term solutions will be included in a future article.