Lake-Friendly Living Awareness Week

The Chronicle Express

The Nature Conservancy in New York Joins Local Coalition in Celebrating week-long virtual event series offered by The Lake-Friendly Living Coalition of the Finger Lakes highlights the many ways residents, businesses and local governments can keep our lakes clean, vibrant, and healthy 

The Nature Conservancy

FINGER LAKES — The Nature Conservancy is proud to sponsor the inaugural Lake-Friendly Living Awareness Week May 2-8, which is designed to encourage residents of Finger Lakes watersheds, as well as local governments and businesses, to adopt practices that will help protect and preserve the lakes. Established by seven Finger Lake Associations (Canandaigua, Cayuga, Keuka, Otisco, Owasco, Seneca and Skaneateles), the week is featuring virtual events designed to educate and engage Finger Lake residents, local governments and businesses, and encourage them to adopt lake-friendly practices that will help sustain the Finger Lakes for generations to come. 

A recent poll conducted by The Nature Conservancy found that voters in the region consider the Finger Lakes an important part of their quality of life―and broad majorities support increased funding for programs and solutions to improve their water quality. Since its work to help protect Hemlock and Canadice in 2010 to more recent efforts to protect and restore critical lands around Owasco, Canandaigua, Honeoye and Skaneateles lakes, the Conservancy has long recognized the vital role the Finger Lakes play in providing drinking water for more than one million residents, making our small towns vibrant, supporting our local farms and businesses, offering recreational opportunities that change with each season, and attracting tourists from around the world. 

“For many of us, myself included, living and working in the Finger Lakes is about a deep connection to the region’s land and water, and to one another through our shared love for this place,” says Olivia Green, The Nature Conservancy’s Finger Lakes water quality specialist. “Nature’s presence is felt constantly here―from the unique character of each of our 11 lakes, to the dramatic gorges and waterfalls, to our diverse farmlands. Our region is a destination for some but for those who live here it is a way of life that we want to protect for the future. Each of us has a role to play in keeping our lakes healthy.” 

Speakers for the webinars are discussing a wide range of topics related to lake-friendly living practices―from environmentally friendly landscaping to citizen science to sustainable vineyard management. The week’s events will conclude with a discussion on Friday, May 7 at 1 pm with Congressman John Katko (NY 24th), followed by a presentation by Aimee Clinkhammer (tentative), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Finger Lakes Hub Watershed Coordinator. 

Throughout the week and beyond, residents and businesses will be encouraged to show their support by taking a pledge to incorporate lake-friendly living practices at home or in their business 

activities. The pledge includes a commitment to practices such as disposing of hazardous wastes properly, maintaining septic systems, and using less harmful lawn care practices. 

“By participating in these learning sessions and making the lake-friendly living pledge, residents and businesses can help keep excess nutrients and sediment from entering our lakes, discouraging the growth of harmful algal blooms and combatting other threats to water quality,” says Margie Creamer, President of the Finger Lakes Regional Watershed Alliance. 

“Our lakes are the heart of our region and the threats they face are mounting. But, thankfully, we are not starting from scratch,” adds Green. “The region has many lake associations and watershed groups, conservation organizations, soil and water conservation districts, and representatives at the level of villages and towns working together because they know they can accomplish more that way. We applaud the Lake-Friendly Living Coalition of the Finger Lakes for organizing this event and helping us all move toward a better water future.” 

The week’s sessions are all free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required. 

For more information, including a full calendar of events, visit flrwa.org/lake-friendly-living

About The Nature Conservancy The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. 

To learn more, visit www.nature.org .