Environmental Committee Strives to Protect and Preserve Village Lakes

As the lakes are the centerpieces of our community and the source of our drinking water in Tuxedo Park, the Environmental Advisory Committee has made the health of the lakes the committee’s focus. This provides a summary of measures from the broadest to the most specific that we are taking to ensure the health and beauty of our lakes.

CSLAP monitoring: This testing is the most basic and allows the broadest evaluation of lake conditions across time and geography.

The New York Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP) is a cooperative effort between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the New York Federation of Lake Associations, Inc. (FOLA). The specific goal of the Program is to implement a scientific and educational program in which community volunteers are trained to collect information and samples. Water samples are sent to a state certified laboratory for chemical analyses. These results and other lake measurements are forwarded to the NYSDEC and FOLA and stored on computer file. The results of the sampling give an indication of current conditions, and allow comparison to historical and statewide water quality data. This allows for a prediction of future water quality conditions, and will provide the NYSDEC and lake associations with a basis for making management decisions for each water body.

Volunteers from Tuxedo Park make field observations of physical conditions of the three lakes: observed aquatic plant growth and suitability of the lake for recreational use, for example. Basic readings of air temperature, water depth, water turbidity, are made. Plant growth and lake water are sampled and tested. Eight sampling sessions have been conducted since June and will continue through October. We anticipate that the testing will be done every season for the next five years. We expect the first summary of findings in January 2009.

Many thanks to our volunteers who have worked many hours on this project and are helping our lakes stay healthy: Josh Bewlay, Lucy Edwards, Susan Goodfellow, MacKenzie Heffernan, Sue Heywood, Joan Riccardi, and Trustee Tinka Shaw. Additional thanks to Margaret Cheung, the Miguel Hennessy family, Kathy Norris, and our wonderful DPW and Wee Wah Beach Club, both of whom very kindly volunteered their boats to be used for sampling and helped us with logistics.

Scott Kishbaugh from the New York DEC has performed additional testing on the three lakes. He is performing testing that is more in-depth than the basic CSLAP parameters. For example, he tests for oxygen levels at multiple depths and organic carbon. He will be developing a protocol specifically designed to study cyanobacteria. Our lakes have been selected to be part of that study. In addition, Scott tests core samples from the lake bottom. We expect to have a summary of his findings in January, 2009.

Princeton Hydro has been engaged to provide us with the most detailed and specific information regarding the condition of our lakes. This includes watershed evaluation and stream testing as well as testing of the lake itself. Princeton Hydro will provide a Management Plan which identifies key areas of concern and will provide a roadmap to guide the Village in maintaining the health of the lakes. Some examples of areas addressed will be pollutant loading, storm water runoff, phosphorus loading from fertilizer, and stream bank erosion. We expect the final report and recommended Management Plan in May of 2009. Princeton Hydro will also be conducting a seminar for residents.

The Committee thanks the Board of Trustees and Mayor Stebbins for supporting this work. In light of the possible impact on our watersheds of new , nearby residential development , we feel it is particularly important now to have a thorough understanding and baseline analysis of our lakes and watersheds.

back to top