The Owasco Lake Watershed Association Lake Day Planning Committee will hold a free public conference, “Owasco Lake... OWN IT, ” from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 9 in the Bisgrove Community Theatre at Cayuga Community College, 197 Franklin St., Auburn.

According to a news release from CCC, the conference will focus on the current condition of Owasco Lake and efforts to reduce phosphorus loading

The workshop features two prominent researchers and their work on Owasco Lake: John Halfman, Ph.D., of the Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart Williams Smith College; and Todd Walter, Ph.D., of Cornell University.

Halfman has been studying Owasco Lake for years and has recently completed synthesis of his data for Summer 2012. He will present his findings on the condition of the lake and compare it to the status of other Finger Lakes. His work is supported by the Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency and the Owasco Watershed Lake Association.

Walters has been studying nutrient transfer mechanisms in watersheds and is currently developing a system to forecast loading, based on weather forecasts and newly refined models that simulate watershed processes. This milestone work uses a combination of watershed factors and geo-spatial technology to identify and estimate the sources of nutrients entering the lake from throughout the watershed. Nutrients remain a primary, if not the most significant, threat to the condition of the lake.

Owasco Lake is the primary drinking water supply for the city of Auburn and many surrounding towns. As an important recreational destination, it is also used for swimming, boating, fishing, and purely aesthetic appreciation. The lake also supplies water via the Owasco River for power generation and Seneca Canal “level” control. The lake and river both provide sewage treatment dilution. The wide array of demands on the lake makes its long-term protection complicated and extremely important.

The event is being sponsored by the Owasco Watershed Lake Association, the Institute for the Application of Geospatial Technology, and Cayuga Community College.

This workshop is a companion event to Lake Day 2013, to be held at Emerson Park on the shores of Owasco Lake on June 26, 2013.

There is no registration fee for the sessions. Pre-registration is recommended however and would be helpful to conference organizers.

To register by phone or for additional information, call 252-8669.

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