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Bob Brower, second to the left, has stepped down from his position as president of the Owasco Watershed Lake Association. He is succeeded by Ken Kudla, second from the right, in this 2016 picture of OWLA members accepting a grant from Fox Toyota.

SENNETT — Bob Brower has resigned from his position as president of the Owasco Watershed Lake Association due to an illness.

President Elect Ken Kudla is taking over as president, and OWLA member Dana Hall will be the acting manager of the $600,000 state grant Brower had been in charge of for work and research in the Owasco Lake watershed.

Rick Nelson, one of the board of directors for the lake association, provided the leadership update to the Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency Thursday morning, telling the group that Brower needs to take care of himself right now.

In a phone interview with The Citizen after the meeting, Brower said he believes OWLA is in good hands. He resigned last week, he said, causing Kudla to move up into his post. Brower feels the new group is full of "highly intelligent" people with different backgrounds.

"It's just a range of skills that really strengthen (the organization) and science, a deep understanding of science on many levels, so it's a very special time in OWLA's organizational development," Brower said.

Brower has a long career working on Owasco Lake and in the Finger Lakes. He was an environmental planner for decades before retiring and starting up the Institute for the Application of Geospatial Technology. He resigned as president and CEO of that organization earlier this year. He's disappointed that he is not able to serve in a past president post at OWLA for now, but he said he's working to get better. Reflecting on what he's done so far, however, he said his life's work has been a privilege. 

"I love the Finger Lakes," he said. "I've considered it a great stroke of good luck to be able to work and earn a living as an environmental planner for several decades.

"I'm the lucky one," he added.

In other news:

• Scott Cook, research scientist and supervisor of the state Department of Environmental Conservation's Finger Lakes Water Hub, told WQMA members Thursday that he will be participating in the revision process of the Owasco Lake watershed rules and regulations. Cook said after getting permissions from the state agency, he will join the table not only as a hub representative, but as a person with background on non-point source management. 

Non-point source pollution typically refers to pollution that comes from many different sources and is often caused by weather events.

The Owasco Lake Watershed Management Council is spearheading the update through a steering committee. So far there have been two public meetings on the current rules and regulations and two stakeholder group meetings.

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Staff writer Gwendolyn Craig can be reached at (315) 282-2237 or Follow her on Twitter @gwendolynnn1.


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