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Dr. Robert Werner is 2013 Skaneateles Citizen of the Year

Dr. Robert Werner

Dr. Robert Werner

The view from the Werner home was captured years ago in a Barrow painting. This view, this lake is really what Bob Werner is all about. His passion for protecting and preserving the lake runs “deep.”

His wife of 55 years, Jo, sits next to him with great pride as he explains milfoil, watershed, invasive species, etc., to me. I realize that I have taken one of God’s greatest gifts, Skaneateles Lake, for granted. I am sure that I am not alone, we tend to look but not really see …

What would Skaneateles be like without the lake which provides us all with beauty fun and drinking water. What if it became choked with milfoil, prohibiting swimming, boating and fishing? I, for one, will look at the Lake differently, from now on.

As a young boy, living in Indiana, Bob became fascinated with the small lake near his home. He would walk along the shore, learning and discovering all that nature had to offer. And so, it was natural for him to follow a career as an aquatic ecologist.

His credits are many and impressive. He was a Professor at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry) for 33 years. He loves to teach young people and perhaps, instill in them, his passion for clean water and preserving the environment for future generations.

Bob Werner’s involvement in Skaneateles Lake goes back to 1971, shortly after he and Jo moved here. He joined the Skaneateles Lake Association and that was just the beginning. He is chair of the town of Skaneateles lake monitoring committee, which monitors the lake every three years to determine its health (this is likened to a yearly physical). He has served as the Skaneateles Lake representative on the Finger Lakes Regional Watershed Alliance from its inception in 2010. He also served on the board of the Finger Lakes Land Trust from 2007 to 2013.

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