We need your help at the Sodus Bay Annual Water Chestnut Pull

Please join other volunteers at our Sodus Bay Annual Water Chestnut Hand Pull which takes place on

TWO DATES:   July 23d and July 30th  9 a.m. – noon;

at THREE LOCATIONS:

  • Emerald Point of the Second Creek (July 23d); 
  • Clark Creek & Spiegel Drive  (July 23d)
  • Sodus Bay at the Bay Bridge (July 30th)

Please help remove this invasive species from Sodus Bay - Come and BRING FRIENDS!

SOS Board member Dan McCullough harvested 6 bags of immature water chestnuts at the old trestle marina last week. This site will need to be revisited later this month as some weeds were inaccessible due to docks and large boats. Dan did a lot of outreach with boaters.  We will provide them with some invasive species materials at that visit so that they know what they’re looking at!

  • WHAT

    Sodus Bay Annual Water Chestnut Pull –

    Each year volunteers help with a water chestnut hand-pull harvest. In July helpers turn out in canoes and kayaks

  • WHY

    The water chestnut is an invasive plant that can clog waterways, cause fish kills, tangle up boats and lower the value of shoreline property. To help with the effort to control aquatic invasive species we pull them out because these plants grow very rapidly and if not managed, they out-compete native aquatic vegetation and form impenetrable floating mats on water surace.

    These mats create a hazard for boaters. The density of the mats can severely limit light penetration into the water and reduce or eliminate the growth of native aquatic plants beneath the canopy.

    The reduced plant growth combined with the decomposition of the water chestnut plants which die back each year can result in reduced levels of dissolved oxygen in the water, impact other aquatic organisms, and potentially lead to fish kills.

    Another effect of dense populations of water chestnut is the migration of small fish from under the canopy to the edges of the vegetative mat. That in turn leads to concentration of larger game fish attracted to the veritable “smorgasbord” at the fringe.

  • WHEN

    July 23, SATURDAY – from 9 a.m. till noon  – Emerald Point of the Second Creek 

    July 23, SATURDAY – from 9 a.m. till noon – Clark Creek & Spiegel Drive  

    July 30, Saturday, from 9 a.m. till noon – at the Bay Bridge

  • WHERE

    Emerald Point of the SECOND CREEK – Use an orange weed harvesting machine as the landmark –  July 23, Saturday, from 9 a.m. till noon

    CLARK Creek & Spiegel Drive – July 23, Saturday, from 9 a.m. till noon

    The BAY BRIDGE – July 30, Saturday, from 9 a.m. till noon

DEC Seeks Help from Anglers in Preventing Spread

The invasive algae didymo (Didymosphenia geminata) was recently confirmed in Clear Creek, a popular trout fishing stream in Cattaraugus and Wyoming counties, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reported today.

“This is the first documented finding of this aquatic nuisance species west of the Catskills in New York State,” said DEC Region 9 Director Abby Snyder. “Clear Creek is one of our region’s most popular wild brown and rainbow trout streams. Given its connectivity to Cattaraugus Creek and proximity to other nearby trout streams, we ask anglers to be especially vigilant in helping to prevent this species from spreading.”

Samples taken and examined by DEC recently confirmed the algae’s presence in Clear Creek at Jones Road in the Cattaraugus County portion of the steam. The finding was confirmed after a concerned angler contacted DEC with a potential sighting.

Didymo, also known as “rock snot,” can produce large amounts of stalk material that form thick mats on stream bottoms. During blooms, these mats may completely cover long stretches of stream beds. Its growth can alter stream conditions, choking out many of the organisms that live on the stream bottom. The resulting disturbance to the stream’s food chain can negatively impact trout and other fish populations.

Once introduced to an area, didymo can rapidly spread to nearby streams. Wading anglers and other water recreationalists such as kayakers, canoeists, boaters and jet skiers can easily and unknowingly spread didymo by transporting the cells on boats and other gear, especially if moving from one waterway to another in a single day.

DEC strongly encourages all anglers and boaters in the region to play a role in preventing the spread of didymo by following the precautions below:

  • Check

    Before leaving a river or stream, remove all obvious clumps of algae and look for hidden clumps. Leave them at the affected site. If you find any later, do not wash them down drains; dispose all material in the trash.

  • Clean

    Treatment varies depending on what needs to be cleaned. Be sure that the solution completely penetrates thick absorbent items such as felt-soled waders and wading boots. Felt-soles, due to their ability to absorb didymo cells and to stay damp for prolonged periods of time, are a major vector in spreading didymo and require special treatment (prolonged soaking in disinfectant).

  • Dry

    If cleaning is not practical, after the item is completely dry to the touch, wait an additional 48 hours before contact or use in any other waterway. Check thick, absorbent items closely to assure that they are dry throughout. Equipment and gear can also be placed in a freezer until all moisture is frozen solid. NOTE: If cleaning, drying or freezing is not practical, restrict equipment to a single water body.

DEC Fisheries staff will monitor Clear Creek and nearby waterways throughout the summer to check for the spread of this algae, and encourages anglers to report any potential didymo sightings and locations. For more information on didymo, visit DEC’s website.

At the end of June, 2016 blue-green algae was spotted at the south end of Conesus Lake, according to the Livingston County Department of Health.

Blooms of potentially toxic blue-green algae are continuing to pop up along the eastern shore of Conesus Lake.

The Livingston County Department of Health warned  that algal blooms, possibly accompanied by harmful toxins, have been observed at various locations on the eastern shore of the lake, located about 20 miles south of Rochester.

Since then the problem has spread, with blooms appearing and dying off in a number of spots.

End of June is earlier than normal for blue/green algae bloom in our region.

With warm weather algae blooms are showing up at the Second Creek and other areas of Sodus Bay.

If you would like to request a visual and blue-green algae toxin analysis at SUNY ESF you can submit a sample with a filled-out request form.

Click to download Request Form

Data Collection Instruments in the Bay

Save Our Sodus (SOS) has purchased data collection instruments that monitor the water quality of the Bay. The data can provide us and our partners at SUNY ESF with information that we can possibly predict when blue/green algae might appear. If you are out in the Bay you will see the monitoring instruments at various locations on the Bay.

Algae Blooms on Sodus Bay 7-5-16

Non-toxic algae bloom, Second Creek, Sodus Bay, July 3, 2016

To date, none of our weekly samples have shown any b/lue-green algae.

The blooms appear when the organism multiplies very rapidly over a short period of time, usually in calm, warm water.

Blue-green algae is concerning because has toxins when there is a high level of algae in the water. Contact with it may result in side effects including itching, rashes, fever, headache, upper respiratory symptoms, vomiting and diarrhea.

People are advised to not drink or use the lake water for cooking; any swimming, wading or other forms of direct contact with water containing blue-green algae should be avoided. Pets should also be kept away from the water.

DONATE TODAY

We Need Your Support

SOS relies solely on donations from stakeholders in the effort to Preserve, Protect and Improve Great Sodus Bay. Please join us in making Sodus Bay the Great Bay that it is – DONATE!

READ Sodus Bay Algal Bloom Q & A prepared by Wayne County Emergency Management Office

Click to Read Q&A Document

 

After April 2016 Storm on Sodus Bay and Lake Ontario, which caused a BREACH between Charles Point and Crescent Beach, SOS has made a few videos showing the breach and the alarming conditions of the East Breakwall.

The videos are arranged in a playlist and will play one after another.

Sodus Bay Shoreline Maintenance is Vital for the Bay

Both the breach and the East breakwall conditions underscored  the importance of maintaining Shoreline Resiliency if the Bay is to remain the BAY and not become a part of Lake Ontario.

Since the initial videos were published, SOS has discovered that in 1986 a Study was conducted by the Army Corp of Engineers which was followed up by a report 1988. Watch the video below where Dave McDowell, President of SOS discusses it and talks about the next steps.

The army Corp has estimated that they need $250,000 for the Design of the East Breakwall Restoration project and has been requesting the money in their annual budget requests to Congress for at least the last 4 years.

These moneys have not been appropriated by the Congress yet.

Our contribution of $125,000

Our contribution of $125,000 in cash would help ensure the project gets underway quickly. We have no time to waste because the devastation that will be caused by the failure of the breakwall will be significantly more costly to remediate.

Do you CARE about Sodus Bay? Please DONATE to East Breakwall Restoration TODAY!

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

After we published the videos about the breach and the condition of the East Breakwall on Facebook, a few people asked: Why Do We Need East Break Wall and Sand Bar? Good question! Dave McDowell, President of Save Our Sodus, answers it in this video. Please watch, share, support.

In case you haven’t seen our video showing the condition of the East Breakwall in Sodus Bay, please watch it below, share and support us.

A lot of Sodus Bay summer residents and fans were away at a time we had a major storm on April 3-4 of 2016. You can read about it in this post and watch the video below that we recorded a few weeks later.

Not much that we are aware of, and that was the reason we wanted to make the videos in the first place. Watch Ed Leroux, former SOS President share it with you in the video below.

The SHORT answer to that question is two-fold.

1. The Breach is on the private property and Breakwall is on the public property.

2. There has been a push for the East Breakwall restoration during the last four years. We believe that us coming together as a concerned community and raising initial money for the Design of the Restoration of the East Breakwall would STIMULATE the project and expedite it significantly.

DONATE NOW

FAST ACTION NEEDED

The Breach caused by the recent storm is now 100 feet, chest deep in the center. We need to fix it to keep our Bay the BAY.  PLEASE SUPPORT US. 

The videos below were taken on April 30, 2016 by a Crescent Beach property owner.

The breach is about 100 feet now, chest deep in the center.  We need to act fast or it will be much, much wider as evidenced by the videos.

by Kevin Mullaney
Member of the Board of Directors
Save Our Sodus

I have been a full time resident of Sodus Point for 35 years but have been playing here since the early sixties and I am very familiar with the water quality and climate and how it has changed over the years. Recently, I have noticed how Global Warming is changing the weather and how this weather affects the bay.

It is evident to me that the weather patterns while similar to those of the past are much more extreme in intensity and frequency. I am no weatherman but the pattern seems to be warm low pressure fronts coming from the south conflicting with higher pressure cool air from the north and creating strong winds from the southeast which plummet my residence on the south shore of sand point. Then as the low pressure front is pushed to the east, offshore, the wind shifts to the west or northwest and giant lake waves attack the south shore communities along the lake. This happened recently as the combination of high lake levels and storm waves out of the north caused a breaches in the crescent beaches of Port Bay and Sodus Bay.

Sodus Bay has always been a windy place because the lake just north of it provides little residence to the wind but of late, with Global Warming, the wind has been noticeably stronger no matter which direction it comes from.

What I have noticed lately is that the strong south east winds build waves up to 3 foot in height that deposit black rotting seaweed from the bottom of the bay along the beach at the end of Maiden Lane. This has been going on for at least the last five or so years that I have been paying attention to it. The rotting sea weed is removed from the beach by following westerly winds which move it to the east, toward the channel outlet to the lake, cleaning the beach of the rotting seaweed. Then the process repeats itself. The near shore in front of the beach at Maiden Lane seems to have an inexhaustible supply of rotting sea weed which leads me to believe that the bay sediment is moving north driven by the south east winds and then east by westerly winds.

Rotting Seaweed

Rotting Seaweed

There is other evidence that rotting seaweed is coming up from the bottom of the bay. It is a fact of chemistry that seaweed sediment has to take oxygen from the water in order to rot. Rotting is an oxidation reduction reaction and when the strong southeast waves are flowing, foam is present on the shore along with the rotting seaweed. This foam is an indication of a lack of oxygen in the water that is plummeting the shore while it should be being oxygenated from the white caps being generated by the strong winds.

brown-and-white-foam-0985

This could suggest that the rotten seaweed will eventually wind up in the lake and it has been determined that the near shore of the lake is more polluted than the bay. This fact would tend to support my observations.

Given all this I would conclude that the strong weather patterns which are a product of Global Warming are working to remove polluting sediment from the bay. Then we couple this with efforts of Save Our Sodus and Nature Conservatory to restore the effectiveness of water shed wetlands to filter incoming nitrates and phosphates along with the Wayne County Soil and Conservation Departments campaign to remove seaweed before it can become sediment  should work together to help reverse the process deteriorating water quality in the bay.

by Kevin Mullaney

Member of the Board of Directors

Save Our Sodus

APRIL 2016 STORM

The combination of the storms on Sunday and Monday, April 3 – 4, 2016 and the higher than normal water levels (approximately 246.3) have caused a break in a few barrier bars along the South Shore of Lake Ontario, including the Port Bay east barrier bar and Charles Point/Crescent Beach connection on Sodus Bay.

Thankfully no action has been taken on Plan 2014.


If Lake Ontario was under Plan 2014 control, the water level would be approximately 7.5 inches higher and the trigger to increase the outflow would not have been reached.
The IJC has been working to release water at a higher than normal rate for most of 2016. Water levels historically rise through June so we need to hope for no more storms.

During this storm, Sodus Bay also suffered damage.

The east break wall was pounded for over a day, Crescent Beach reportedly over topped and definitely suffered damage over the winter, a boat house has floated several properties away from its home and docks and other items have broken free from the shores of the bay.

Sodus Point April 2016 storm

A boat house that floated away after heavy storm pounding is getting pulled back home.

 

The following was posted on the Sodus Point, NY Facebook page by Rosa Fox:

Charles Point can now again be called Charles Island… The photos below were taken on April 9, 2016 on the stretch of – what used to be the board walk connecting Crescent Beach to Charles Point. The board walk is gone. The breach is about 75 feet wide. Deep spots – so not crossable today. A plume of mud from the break goes 1/4 to 1/2 mile south out into the bay. We expect that the break will widen, as the waves have already started to wash away bushes and beach into the bay. Location is west of the Bloomer cottage.”

April 2016 Storm Damage Sodus Point, NY

Photo by Rosa Fox: Huge hole in Crescent Beach located near Charles Point

 

Photo by Rosa Fox: 70 ft + Breech of Crescent Beach located near Charles Point caused by April 5-6, 2016 Storm on Lake Ontario near Sodus Bay

Photo by Rosa Fox: 70 ft + Breach of Crescent Beach located near Charles Point caused by April 3-4, 2016 Storm on Lake Ontario near Sodus Bay

 

Photo by Rosa Fox: 70 ft + Breech of Crescent Beach located near Charles Point caused by April 5-6, 2016 Storm on Lake Ontario near Sodus Bay

Photo by Rosa Fox: 70 ft + Breach of Crescent Beach located near Charles Point caused by April 3-4, 2016 Storm on Lake Ontario near Sodus Bay

 

Charles Point, Aerial Photo from Cornell Library, Circa 1938

Charles Point, Aerial Photo from Cornell Library, Circa 1938 – Charles Point and Crescent Beach aren’t connected

 

CLAYTON — In two months, Plan 2014 will be celebrating the second anniversary of its inception. There is no set date, however, for its official implementation. Plan 2014 seeks to update half-decade-old lake and river water level regulations so the St. Lawrence River can return to more natural flowing patterns. Last weekend’s Clayton boat show held at the Cerow Recreation Park Arena featured a Plan 2014 presentation by Dereth B. Glance, a commissioner with the International Joint Commission. Plan 2014 was devised by the IJC, a partnership between the United States and Canada to help resolve issues concerning water resources bordering the two countries. Ms. Glance summarized the plan’s goals and gave an update on its progress. She said the plan is essentially in a holding pattern until the IJC receives word from the United States and Canadian governments. Once both governments and the IJC have officially agreed upon the plan, implementation can begin. The plan would update Plan 1958-DD, which has not been changed in more than 50 years. The problem, Ms. Glance said, is that the current plan does not take natural occurrences into account, such as changes in temperature and ice cover over a number of years. Ms. Glance said the current regulations have “compressed” water flow that lies between high and low levels of the lake and seaway. As a result, wetland ecosystems have been harmed significantly, and northern pike populations have plummeted. One of the most important aspects of the plan, Ms. Glance said, is that it’s designed to improve all interests in the lakes and seaway, including the environment, hydropower, sanitation, recreation and navigation. She noted, however, that there have been concerns that new water levels under Plan 2014 regulations could affect dock placement. “We understand that you can’t regulate water levels to make everybody happy, because everybody wants the level at the right level where their dock is,” she said. “That’s important for us to hear ... but we have to do what’s best for the entire system.” Ms. Glance was joined by former Department of Conservation Regional Director Thomas E. Brown, who said the plan would also utilize “adaptive management,” which would analyze the effects of the plan once it’s put into action. Plan 2014 has been supported by U.S. Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Willsboro, who has said she is building support in Congress to help speed up the plan’s launch.

An April 3-4 Storm of 2016 Outcome – a 75 feet breach in Charles Point which is now separating Charles Island from Crescent Beach. Photo by Charles Boogaard

 

This April Storm just gave us a glimpse of what high water levels and a relatively minor storm can do. Arney’s Marina in Sodus Point is barely above water.

As if the storm didn’t send a strong message for us to keep applying pressure and making sure the Plan 2014 doesn’t move forward, a recent article published in Watertown Daily  just added the proverbial fuel to the fire.

It reminded us that in two months, Plan 2014 would be celebrating the second anniversary of its inception.   Dereth B. Glance, a commissioner with the International Joint Commission made a presentation about Plan 2014 at a recent boat show in Clayton, NY.

According to the article, Ms. Glance summarized the plan’s goals and gave an update on its progress. She said the plan is essentially in a holding pattern until the IJC receives word from the United States and Canadian governments. Once both governments and the IJC have officially agreed upon the plan, implementation can begin.

“The plan would update Plan 1958-DD, which has not been changed in more than 50 years. The problem, Ms. Glance said, is that the current plan does not take natural occurrences into account, {INDEED, INCLUDING STORMS SIMILAR TO THE ONE WE JUST HAD – admin} such as changes in temperature and ice cover over a number of years. Ms. Glance said the current regulations have “compressed” water flow that lies between high and low levels of the lake and seaway. As a result, wetland ecosystems have been harmed significantly, and northern pike populations have plummeted.

One of the most important aspects of the plan, Ms. Glance said, is that it’s designed to improve all interests in the lakes and seaway, including the environment, hydropower, sanitation, recreation and navigation. She noted, however, that there have been concerns that new water levels under Plan 2014 regulations could affect dock placement. {A major understatement from our perspective – admin} 

“We understand that you can’t regulate water levels to make everybody happy, because everybody wants the level at the right level where their dock is,” she said. “That’s important for us to hear … but we have to do what’s best for the entire system.” {We also want our shoreline to stay where it is. What’s wrong with that?- admin}

Plan 2014 has been supported by U.S. Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Willsboro, who has said she is building support in Congress to help speed up the plan’s launch.”

Below is a photo (by Chris Trine) of the protection for the parking lot at Sodus Point Park, owned by Wayne County. The damage would be greater under Plan 2014, since water levels would be much higher than at the present time.  Additionally, and more importantly, the damage to public infrastructure like this was never added as a cost during Plan 2014 assessments.

Parking-Lot-Protection-Chri

 

The message that this storm brought was loud and clear: We need to do all we can to prevent Plan 2014 from going into effect. We are reaching out to our community for support – please support us financially so that we can facilitate the restoration of the barrier bar, make the necessary trips, collect more data and once again deliver our message to the decision makers BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.  

DONATE NOW

Save Our Sodus Works On Your Behalf.

Help us Preserve and Protect Great Sodus Bay from Plan 2014 – make a one-time or a recurring tax-deductible contribution to SOS. Just click on the button to DONATE NOW! (Secure donations are processed through Network For Good)

When the time comes, we’ll call on you to sign petitions and get involved in other ways. We are in it together.

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