Rep. Tom Reed got first hand experience with collecting water samples last week on Keuka Lake when he joined volunteers and representatives from the Finger Lakes Institute who are seeking more data about invasive species.

“As the world gets smaller and smallers, we have to be aware of it (how invasives move from one location to another),” said Reed, who learned that recreational boating is the biggest cause of infestations. 

Reed joined the volunteers in a boat working with the Keuka Lake Association on a water sampling expedition to learn more about the invasive species affecting the water quality in the Finger Lakes.

“The health of our lakes is critical to our economy and quality of life, and we want to ensure that they receive the care they need so our children and grandchildren have fair access to these bodies of water we care deeply about,” Reed said. “The Great Lakes Watershed (GLRI) includes nearly every county in New York’s 23rd district.

“This is why we worked to ensure a 900 percent increase in funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative from the President’s proposed budget - from $30 million to $300 million.”

Mark Morris, of Keuka Lake Association said, “We at Keuka Lake Association really appreciate Tom taking the initiative to see what we are doing here and know we can count on him to come back with federal and state aid to deal with these issues.”

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative cares for environmental cleanup efforts in the region. The collaborative approach of the program helps coordinate resources so projects can be carried out in the most effective manner.

The GLRI supports 16 projects in the district focusing on: cleaning waterways, preventing and controlling invasive species, and reducing harmful algal bloom in the Great Lakes watershed.

Reed says a united bi-partisan effort to fight for the GLRI is critical. “The voices are united in recognizing the value of the interconnected waterways,” he said.

Sampling water from Keuka Lake was begun more than 25 years ago by Peter Landre, who established the first watershed management plan, notes Keuka Lake Association President Dennis Carlson, explaining the historic data is invaluable to today’s researchers who are trying to learn more about a variety of invasives such as Starry Stonewort and others.

Includes reporting by Gwen Chamberlain.