The Community Science Institute will be holding another event in the “What’s in Your Watershed?” series, focusing on Fall & Virgil Creeks. This event will take place on Wednesday, January 15th at 6:30 PM at the Tompkins County Public Library BorgWarner Room, located at 101 E. Green Street in Ithaca.
This event will highlight the current water quality issues in Fall and Virgil Creeks, with a focus on phosphorus in the watershed. Virgil Creek is a tributary to Fall Creek and the watershed contains much of the Town of Dryden. These watersheds are home to thousands of residents, large-scale agriculture, and Cornell University. Fall Creek serves as the drinking water supply for the Cornell campus. The Fall Creek watershed is of particular interest for the Cayuga Lake Modeling Project, a Cornell study to provide a better understanding of where phosphorus comes from and how it affects Cayuga Lake’s ecosystem. The DEC will use this study to decide whether or not to implement Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) allocations for the southern end of Cayuga Lake.
Presentations will address questions like, “How much phosphorus comes to Cayuga Lake from the Fall & Virgil Creek watersheds?”, “What is a TMDL and how might it affect me?”, “How has the Fall Creek watershed been used historically?”, “What are volunteers doing to help protect water quality?” and more.
Speakers will include Laura Johnson-Kelly, Ithaca Town Historian, Erin Menzies, M.S. Candidate and graduate assistant with the Cayuga Lake Modeling Project, a representative from Tompkins County Soil & Water Conservation District, and Steve Penningroth, Executive Director at the Community Science Institute.
The Community Science Institute has partnered with volunteers to monitor Fall & Virgil Creeks since 2002. Volunteers sample 14 locations in the Fall & Virgil Creek watersheds. All results are publicly available in the CSI database online at http://communityscience.org/database.
CSI’s Fall and Virgil Creek monitoring program is supported by Tompkins County, the Town of Dryden and the Town of Ithaca.