Approximately 100 people gathered at the home of Ron and Tami Baumgartner, Eli Lilly Road, Syracuse, for an evening to share what the Center is doing and its future. Additionally, the event was a fundraiser to continue the work of the Center.
The evening was co-hosted by the Baumgartners, George and Peggy Rapp, Jim and Kay Young, Dick and Sandy Green and David and Kathleen Johnston.
Bosch stated Wawasee and Syracuse have been two of the most studied lakes in the state, however, until recently groups studying the lake came and went. The Center of Lakes & Streams has continued studying the lakes with fascinating and alarming results.
Looking at trends, he referred to water clarity with Syracuse becoming clearer and Wawasee cloudier, less warm water layers, and oxygen levels decreasing causing the decline of warm water fish. He noted the change in weeds and the newest weed, starry stonewort, increasing in its presence. He also pointed out the numerous different blue green algae species now found at the lake and its extensive presence.
He recognized various organizations, all who have different focuses and expertise areas. “The only way to reverse these trends is to all work together,” said Bosch. He referred to the trilogy reference made several weeks ago by Dick Green: Wawasee Property Owners Association, Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation and the center.
Bosch noted education efforts and current research, several in collaboration with WACF. He noted recent samplings to see what is coming into the lakes after storms, and looking at the algae found in the lakes under a microscope. “Ninety percent of the algae in Lake Wawasee is blue green algae. This is not what we want to see.”
For the future, Bosch stated the mission is to “reverse those trends to see cleaner lakes in the future. To do that, we need to sustain and accelerate the momentum the center has. We need you to join us in that effort.”
Bosch noted three ways individuals can help — volunteering; offering the use of talents for fundraising, marketing and communications; and financially. He noted the new science center being planned at Grace College, annual giving, the center’s endowment project in which $800,000 of the $1 million goal has been reached, and legacy giving. “This helps makes sure the center is permanently here to look at these two lakes.”
Following Bosch’s presentation, he answered questions. Several questions were raised. The questions focused on the cause of the blue-green algae and toxins, effects of the presence of zebra mussels and the study on the starry stonewort.
Bosch noted solutions to remove starry stonewort is in the process with 16 plots around Lake Wawasee and once the study is complete the results will tell what works best at what rate and combination of chemicals.
Prior to Bosch’s comments, Dr. Bill Katip, president of Grace College, gave a brief overview of what is happening at the college.
To view a video of a portion of Bosch’s presentation go to www.inkfreenews.com/2016/06/25/syracuse-wawasee-the-most-studied-lakes-in-the-state/.