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Keuka Lake water quality stays 'AA'

PENN YAN—Many eyes are monitoring the waters of Keuka Lake. Cornell Cooperative Extension Director Peter Landre presented an update on the Land Use Leadership Alliance (LULA) to local officials in Penn Yan  Feb. 12.  The six towns and two villages around the lake have been cooperating to protect the quality of water in the lake for more than a decade.
Landre said the LULA guide, which is being updated, is meant to be a resource for towns and villages for their planning activities. A watershed planning guide has been produced that is available online. One point he made is that there are about 500 tributaries that drain to Keuka Lake. Calling protection of the watershed “Critical,” Landre added, “We’re blessed with fresh water here, both in the amount and its quality.”
The watershed land use planning guide update  emphasizes current conditions and areas that affect the lake water quality such as steep slopes, agriculture and development. The watershed vision goals and objectives include protection of Keuka Lake’s natural plant and animal life, sustaining the lake’s current “AA” rating and continually working to improve the lake’s water quality. Sustainable development, development that is undertaken with consideration for the long term community and neighbor relations, environmental stability and economic capability of the watershed is another goal, as is focusing new growth in village and hamlet areas.  
The vision statement states, “To provide the Keuka Lake Municipalities with a Watershed Land Use Management Guide that represents a cooperative lake community effort promoting environmental stewardship and open space land use practices. Plan content will encourage all municipalities toward actions representative of smart development and preservation of the area’s much desired rural character.”
Wayne supervisor Dawn Dowdle also spoke to the group at the Penn Yan village office about the project. She said, “It’s important for all of us to be on the same page.” Near the end of the meeting, Penn Yan resident Dan Banach said, “Penn Yan represents just .08 percent of the watershed but we have 100 percent interest in what comes down that lake.”
There will be additional presentations at the Pulteney Town Hall at 7 p.m. Feb. 19, Barrington Town Hall at 10 a.m. Feb. 25, Urbana town Hall, Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. for Urbana and Hammondsport and at the Milo Town Hall, March 3 at 7 p.m.

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