The Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce and Cayuga Economic Development Agency are seeking input from Cayuga County businesses, entities, and organizations to assess the economic impacts of blue green algae blooms in Owasco Lake. To accomplish this, the Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce Advocacy Committee has generated an online survey which can be accessed at this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/OwascoLakeImpact. All businesses, non-profits, municipalities, committees, and other entities in Cayuga County are encouraged to take the survey by June 16, 2017, even those not directly impacted by water quality in Owasco Lake. Understanding which industries are not impacted by this issue is an important part of the overall picture.
Concern has been growing throughout the last two decades regarding the overall condition of Owasco Lake, spurring the creation of multiple advocacy and governmental groups monitoring lake levels and nutrient/phosphate levels. Last summer and fall (2016), microcystin toxins were discovered in the City of Auburn and Town of Owasco drinking water (as well as the surrounding communities the Auburn/Owasco system services) due to prolonged blue green algae blooms in the lake. Although the levels were determined to be safe enough for consumption (drinking), the concern by local officials, businesses, and residents was heightened substantially.
The health of Owasco Lake impacts Cayuga County significantly. Owasco Lake is a source of drinking water, production water for businesses, recreation for residents, and is an economic driver for tourism. This survey will help the Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce and Cayuga Economic Development Agency better understand the impacts of these issues on our county’s businesses, non-profits, and other organizations. The survey is expected to take between five and 30 minutes to complete, depending on the level of impact for the responding organization. The results of the survey will be assessed after June 16 and a summary of findings will be shared publicly thereafter.