Lakescaping — What you can do in your own yard to help the lake — 8/4/18

RBLPOA Meeting August 4, 2018 — Lakescaping for lake health

On a rainy Saturday in August over 30 RBL residents gathered (indoors) to hear two experts discuss things that each of us can do in our own yards to help keep the lake clean and healthy.
We heard from AJ Reyes, lake ecologist, and David Seiter, ecological landscaper. Their presentations were terrific, and were followed by a Q & A session. We were impressed with the speakers and the speakers were impressed with the engagement of the homeowners who attended. If you were there, thank you for coming out on a wet Saturday and for being such a great audience!

If you weren’t able to be there, we worked as hard as we could to video the session for you. Unfortunately, our volunteer videographer (that is, the neighbor who had made at least one video before) couldn’t be there. People pitched in, with their phones and whatever else they had. The result is here. You’ll need some patience, but if you ignore the shaky camera and the low volume audio (turn the volume up on your end and also try putting on the closed caption option) you’re in for a great session.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Had enough of beach closings? RBLPOA meeting August 4, 2018

Had enough of beach closings?

There are a few simple things you can do in your own yard to reduce the threat of toxic algae.
Learn what they are and ask questions.

This Saturday, August 4th at Children’s Beach
from 9:30-10:30 am

Two experts will advise us on how we can make a difference,
Lake Ecologist, A.J. Reyes and
Ecological Landscape Architect, David Seiter

A.J. Reyes spent much time as a teenager fishing and boating in our very own Putnam Valley. He has a passion for lakes that he pursued through a bachelor’s degree in Ecology at SUNY Plattsburgh, and then a master’s degree in Lake Management from SUNY Oneonta. A.J. has worked on lakes all over the US — Montana, Alaska, Nevada– with the United States Geologic Survey.  Most recently, he worked on North Carolina lakes and reservoirs. A.J. has managed difficult invasive species, including quagga mussels in the Hoover Dam,  invasive lake trout in Yellowstone Lake, and hydrilla in North Carolina. This year, AJ came back to the lakes of his childhood and began working for Northeast Aquatic Research.

A.J. has a holistic view of lake management and a belief in sustainability as the key to a balance between preservation and human enjoyment.

David Seiter is the design director and founding principal of Future Green Studio, where he oversees a staff of twenty-five creative, hardworking, and talented individuals.  With keen attention to sustainability, David is continually exploring how to integrate landscape into the built environment in innovative and environmentally-responsible ways. David’s portfolio includes award-winning private and public-use projects. He has lectured widely about sustainability in landscape architecture. David holds a Master of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Art History from Vassar College.

David is our neighbor here on Roaring Brook Lake, where he is a hands-on gardener, patiently working his own yard, enjoying the process, and allowing the garden to reveal itself.

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RBLPOA Meeting July 14, 2018 – Parts 4 – 6 — Q & A with Supervisor Oliverio

RBLPOA meeting July 14, 2018

Question and Answer session with Supervisor Oliverio — discussions of lake draw-down, goose problem, overpass updates, noise abatement, storm-water management, and others.

Task Force Organization –Volunteer! Be a part of the solution!

The big news from the July 14 meeting is that residents, concerned by the surge of toxic algae and beach closings, expressed overwhelming support to kick off a multi-year, multi-pronged approach to a healthier, cleaner lake.

To tap the incredible talent, dedication and skills found right here among us, the POA is setting up volunteer task forces.

Please check out the Task Force list below and click here to email us if you are interested in working on one. You can just say “I’m interested!”. Or, be specific about a task force or project that interests you. All comments and questions are welcome. We will listen and respond.

TASK FORCE 1: Town and Community Level Initiatives, Green and Gray Infrastructure

  • Apply for NY State grants for green and gray infrastructure to control toxic algae and nutrient contamination
  • Work with elected officials to promote goals
  • Develop an action plan to establish green infrastructure: Floating wetland islands, new wetland plantings, bioswales, retention ponds
  • Develop an action plan for storm-water management “grey infrastructure” cost-efficient solutions like baffle boxes, drainage filters, etc.

TASK FORCE 2: Promote Lake-Healthy Homeowner Practices through educational resources, targeted discussion, and demonstration projects

  • Web site development
  • Event organizing, such as seminars, talks, film series, book series, and social media campaigns
  • Organize demonstration projects on shoreline vegetation buffers, tree management, water barrels, grass and hardscape reduction, etc.

TASK FORCE 3: Promote Good Septic Management including Frequent Pumping and New Technology Upgrades

Click here to email us if you are interested in working on a task force or a project. You can just say “I’m interested!” or you can be more specific. You can also give suggestions or ask questions. We will respond to all.

The life of the lake is in our hands!

 

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RBLPOA Meeting July 14, 2018 – Part 3

“One door closes and another opens…” Supervisor Sam Oliverio speaks about town issues including the new Rec Center opportunity.

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RBLPOA Meeting July 14, 2018 – Part 2

RBLPOA Meeting July 14, 2018 – Part 2

In which Ina Cholst and Town Supervisor Sam Oliverio each discuss the possibility of applying for 303(d) status for RBL. What’s your opinion?

In which Sam congratulates the residents of RBL for their compliance with the septic pump out rule and suggests that the clarity of this year’s water may be the pay-off for that attention to the care of their septic systems. Can you guess how many residents pumped their tanks last year?

In which Sam comments on this years’s toxic algae outbreak — outlining some of the causes.

In which Sam reiterates the Health Department rules for the swim beaches and asks residents to be patient and respectful in order to keep Spur Beach open.

Note: many people, including Sam, Town Board Member Jackie Annabi, and Michael Nesheiwat, MD, Putnam County Commissioner of Health worked hard to allow the community to open Spur Beach after 4 years of closure. Be appreciative of their efforts and please be respectful of the young lifeguards whose job it is to enforce the directives of the DOH.

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RBLPOA Meeting July 14, 2018 – Part 1

Now, video installment #1 and a brief written summary…

RBLPOA meeting July 14, 2018

The big news is that residents, concerned by the surge of toxic algae and beach closings, expressed overwhelming support to kick off a multi-year, multi-pronged approach to a healthier, cleaner lake.

To tap the incredible talent, dedication and skills found right here among us, the POA is setting up volunteer task forces.

Please check out the Task Force list below and click here to email us if you are interested in working on one. You can just say “I’m interested!”. Or, be specific about a task force or project that interests you. All comments and questions are welcome. We will listen and respond.

TASK FORCE 1: Town and Community Level Initiatives, Green and Gray Infrastructure

  • Apply for NY State grants for green and gray infrastructure to control toxic algae and nutrient contamination
  • Work with elected officials to promote goals
  • Develop an action plan to establish green infrastructure: Floating wetland islands, new wetland plantings, bioswales, retention ponds
  • Develop an action plan for storm-water management “grey infrastructure” cost-efficient solutions like baffle boxes, drainage filters, etc.

TASK FORCE 2: Promote Lake-Healthy Homeowner Practices through educational resources, targeted discussion, and demonstration projects

  • Web site development
  • Event organizing, such as seminars, talks, film series, book series, and social media campaigns
  • Organize demonstration projects on shoreline vegetation buffers, tree management, water barrels, grass and hardscape reduction, etc.

TASK FORCE 3: Promote Good Septic Management including Frequent Pumping and New Technology Upgrades

Click here to email us if you are interested in working on a task force or a project. You can just say “I’m interested!” or you can be more specific. You can also give suggestions or ask questions. We will respond to all.

The RBL residents in attendance agreed: the lake is at a critical stage.

The time to act is now. The people to do this are us.

The life of the lake is in our hands.


Meeting summary and background information:

Over 40 enthusiastic –but also worried– homeowners attended the RBL property owners meeting last Saturday, July 14. The summer of 2018 began with unprecedented beach closings. Starting today, all beaches are open. That is great news.

But, so far this year, there have been a total of 33 beach-day closings: 14 days when Children’s Beach was closed, 17 days when Spur Beach was closed, and 2 days when Moon Beach was closed. Most of the closings were for suspicious harmful algal blooms (HABs, aka: toxic algae). Spur Beach opened briefly June 30 and July 1 as a toddler’s beach (after 4 years of closure by the DOH for a too-steep slope). However, the DOH closed Spur Beach almost immediately after opening, because of high levels of fecal coliforms (over 1000, often due to aging septic systems).

Roaring Brook Lake is not alone in having HAB (toxic algae) problems. At the present time, there are more than 40 lakes in New York State reporting HAB , with 6 of these lakes in Putnam County. (Only Suffolk County, with 8 lakes listed, has more affected lakes than Putnam). Experts do not attribute the increased HABs to a single cause, but relate them to a “tipping point” situation in which multiple factors accumulate over time. Some of the factors include the accumulation over time of nutrients in the lake, partially from aging septic systems, partially from more frequent, heavier storms, which wash nutrient-rich sediments into the lake, and partially from local landscaping practices. Then, when there is hot windless weather, the nutrient-rich lake water becomes a warm broth, an ideal culture medium for the blue-green algae to grow and to produce toxins.

As a response to the developing water crisis, in April 2017, New York State passed a new Clean Water Act allocating $2.5 billion to address multiple problems. Of particular interest to our community is $275 million announced on June 28, 2018 for clean water infrastructure. Specifically, “Projects eligible for grant funding include critical water infrastructure projects that address cyanotoxins associated with harmful algal blooms…” Also of interest to our community is $75 million allocated and earmarked for replacement of aging septic systems.

We believe it is in our interest to apply for these grants. To do that, we will make the best possible case for RBL being a community that has lost reliable access to safe water for swimming and also a community that cares about its future and would use funds carefully and responsibly. One possible tactic (to be discussed in much greater detail over the next weeks and months) would be to work with the Town of Putnam Valley to apply for 303(d) status, meaning that we have a biologic problem that affects the recreational use of the lake. Supervisor Oliverio would be in support of this action and noted that Lake Oscawana obtained 303(d) status in 2002, which led to over $2 million in infrastructure grants, and just recently, to $75,000 for homeowner septic replacement. Those improvements, in turn, have resulted in significant amelioration of the nutrient contaminants in their lake and in the quality of life for their community. Lake Oscawana is the only lake in our town that has not had a beach closure for HAB this year.

Part 2 will be added tomorrow…stay tuned!

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Regatta 2018 – Saturday, July 28, 10 am to 5 pm

Regatta 2018

This year’s Regatta will be Saturday, July 28, from 10 am to 5 pm. There’ll be lots of good old-fashioned fun: balloon popping, watermelon rolling, pie-eating contests — irresistible! And did I mention the fabulous food? Sausage and peppers, burgers, dogs, veggie burgers, and corn fresh off the grill. Yum.

Regatta 2018 –Awesome fun, Fabulous food

Wristband Payment — back by popular demand

This year registration will be by wristband for all attendees. Your wristband entitles you to food and beverages all day!

Big discount if you purchase in advance —Must purchase by 9 am Friday, 7/27/18 for discount

$5 in advance/$10 at the gate.

Wristbands are free for kids age 6 & under.

Click for FAQs

Click for Schedule

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Regatta 2018 Schedule

Schedule

Event Age Time Slot
Bike Race <6, 7-9, 10-13, >14 10:00
Peg hunt up to 6 11:00
Balloon Pop up to 6 11:00
Nail Driving <6, 7-10, 11-14 11:15
3 leg race 10-16, >16 11:45
Entertainment All 12:00
Pie Eating <6, 7-9, 10-13, >14 1:15
Swimming Race <6, 7-9, 10-14, >15 1:30
Greased Watermelon 10-15, >16 2:30
Rowboat Race 10 and up 3:00
Canoe Race 10 and up 3:00
Paddle Board Race 10 and up 3:00
Egg Toss 10-15, >16 4:15
Land Tug of War 10-15, >16 4:30
Award Ceremony All 5:00
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