Biology Professors Continue Work on Lake Water-Quality Research

Professors Sid Bosch (left) and Joe Makarewicz on Conesus Lake

GENESEO, N.Y. - State University of New York at Geneseo biology professor Sid Bosch and colleague Joe Makarewicz from SUNY Brockport continue to monitor Conesus Lake sites and streams running into the lake where they have documented the impact of best agricultural management practices on near-shore water quality.

The researchers published a special supplement to The Journal of Great Lakes Research last summer on their findings, which provided evidence that sound agricultural management techniques benefit farmers by reducing soil loss and fertilizer costs. At the same time, they concluded that such practices benefit the environment and water quality by reducing the growth of aquatic weeds, algae and bacteria in the lake's near-shore region.

The State University of New York's Research Foundation is highlighting the study on its Web site. The research encompasses a six-year period (2003-09) by the team of scientists, graduate and undergraduate students led by Makarewicz and Bosch.

"We have an eight-year baseline of stream and lakeside ecosystem data and we want to see what happens to the water quality in the ensuing years as these sound agricultural practices continue," says Bosch.

Bosch says the team recently rechanneled the mouth of one stream from the lake shoreline to the middle of the lake.

"We will observe how the rechanneling of this stream affects the water quality along the shore," says Bosch. "The near-shore region is where the public comes into contact with the lake and where improvements would most enhance the recreational value and aesthetic quality of the habitat."

The research was funded by $1.2 million in grants from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture with additional grant support from the Livingston County Planning Department and Altria Corp.

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