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Residents move forward with Otisco Lake weed removal plans

Residents with a stake in Otisco Lake dug into their pockets Oct. 8 to set some physical digging into motion.

Approximately $3,000 was handed over by the end of the second Otisco Lake weed removal meeting. The meeting was held at the Amber Inn and came two weeks after several residents attended a roundtable at the Marietta House with environmental and water officials from throughout the region.

To start tackling the problem, resident Ed Ryan asked John Menapace, project manager for the Skaneateles Lake Milfoil Project, to attend the meeting and give a presentation to the group on milfoil and weed eradication.

"We really should pay attention to what they've done over there," Ryan said.

According to Ryan, the Department of Environmental Conservation is on board to help with the removal and the College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse University is also going to help where they can.

However, on a hyper local level, Ryan said the group needs "pockets" of residents around the lake from the various communities to begin pulling and testing weeds. They also need to have a 501(c)3, which is non-profit status, in order to fund the project.

The group hopes to piggyback on the Otisco Lake Community Association and be under its non-profit umbrella to get started. By receiving non-profit certification through OLCA, the group can begin by focusing its efforts on the immediate problem and finding solutions.

Getting started

Menapace gave a thorough presentation and timeline for the group, which began with researching other lakes -- Lake George and Upper Saranac Lake -- that had dealt with weeds problems.

Then those involved with the Skaneateles project applied for a DEC permit to begin pulling milfoil out of the lake by the roots, but were told that what they had proposed was to dredge the bottom.

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