On the mellow autumn evening of October 12, the third Sunset Dinner on Cayuga was enjoyed by all in the beautiful dining hall at Wells College on Cayuga Lake’s east shore in the picturesque village of Aurora. “Sunset” is a dinner-dance fundraiser for the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network (Network), a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating about and protecting Cayuga Lake and its creeks, lands and communities. Many old and new friends of the Network came to enjoy the evening of delicious food, local wines, silent auction, music, dancing, and award presentations.
The David A. Morehouse Award was established by the Network a decade ago to honor the memory of David Morehouse, long-time Cayuga county resident and protector of the lake. Claire and RandyMorehouse reminisced fondly about their late husband and father’s stubborn insistence and drive to to protect our beautiful lake. (In photo, from left: Steve Penningroth, CLWN leaders Deb Grantham and Hilary Lambert; Claire and Randy Morehouse. Photo by Ed Harwood.)
The 2013 Morehouse Award recipient is Steve Penningroth and the Community Science Institute that he founded and leads. This Ithaca-based nonprofit offers water quality monitoring training, data collection and lab analysis for local residents concerned about water issues in their creeks and along the lake.
Supported by a certified water quality laboratory, Penningroth and CSI have established long-running data collection efforts along seven Cayuga Lake creeks and the lakeshore. In addition to this Great Lakes Basin focus, CSI is instructing Upper Susquehanna River residents in establishing a pre-fracking water quality data base in headwaters streams, and are also carrying out pre-fracking residential water well testing across New York State.
Steve’s visionary approach and inclusive style have been effective in creating a clean-water army of well-informed, technically competent volunteers. The decade-long data collection project provides invaluable information for many water-related challenges in the Cayuga Lake watershed and surrounding areas.
This article was contributed by the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network.