Cropland buffering would fund farmers
Last Thursday, a meeting of concerned government officials and Conesus lakeside residents addressed the problematic early algae bloom collecting along the lake’s southwest shoreline.
There was consensus that action needs to be taken — and that the most plausible course of action appears to be enhanced buffering of tributary streams.
Those in attendance included Geneseo Supervisor Will Wadsworth — who called the meeting — Geneseo Councilman and lake liaison Dan Dimpfl, Livonia Town Supervisor Eric Gott, Conesus Lake Watershed Manager Don Wetzel, Jim Mazurowski and Joan Ellison of the Livingston County Department of Health, Conesus Lake Association representatives and about 20 lakeshore residents who are living with the algae bloom. A regular meeting of the Conesus Lake Watershed Committee held the following day likewise focused on the algae bloom.
“Obviously, I think part of this is because of all the rain we’ve had,” he said. “It’s been washing nutrients into the lake and nutrients are causing the algae bloom,” said Wetzel.
The concept of buffering upper elevation cropland in places where the land is in contact with streams is being looked upon as a worthy plan of action with an affordable pricetag. Buffering, as the term is used in stream bed management, calls for planting or nurturing a thick mat of living foliage along steam banks and at stream origin areas, serving as a barrier and absorber for storm water runoff and the nutrients it may contain.
At a followup meeting next week, the results of the lake water tests will be discussed, along with knowledge of upland soil cultivation practices as provided by Livingston County Soil & Water Conservation Manager Pete Kanouse, Wadsworth said.
Over the next two months there will be an evaluation and determination for building additional and enhanced buffer strips, he hopes. Such a timetable would allow for new buffers to be planted and in place by next spring.
Complete story appears in the June 25 print edition of the Livingston County News.