Nov. 10, 2011

United States and Canada Salute Conesus Lake Water Quality Project


Biology Professor Isidro Bosch, left, confers with students during the data-gathering phase of the Conesus Lake Watershed Management Project, which has received international recognition.

GENESEO, N.Y. -- A watershed management project involving a SUNY Geneseo biology researcher has received kudos as a success story by the State of the Lakes Ecosystem Conference, hosted by the top environmental agencies of the United States and Canada.

The Conesus Lake Watershed Management Project, which documented the impact of best agricultural management practices on near-shore water quality, received the honor at the October conference in Erie, Pa., hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Environment Canada. Isidro Bosch, professor of biology at Geneseo, worked closely on the research with project director Joseph Makarewicz, distinguished service professor in the SUNY College at Brockport's Dept. of Environmental Science and Biology.

In a six-year research period (2003-09), the team of scientists, graduate and undergraduate students, led by Makarewicz and Bosch, documented the impact of best agricultural management practices on Conesus Lake's near-shore water quality. The investigators published their research results in 2009 as a series of fifteen peer-reviewed papers in a special supplement to "The Journal of Great Lakes Research." The summary article in that issue was the most frequently cited paper in the journal between the years 2005-2011.

"We made significant progress in demonstrating effective management of a recurring water quality issue in our lakes and I was pleased to see the hard work recognized by the binational committee," said Bosch. "The near-shore region is where the public most frequently comes into contact with lakes and our management project showed that significant reductions in algae, weed growth and bacterial contamination in the near shore could be achieved by upstream agricultural practices that were cost-effective to implement and to maintain."

Also involved in the project were scientists from the Cornell Cooperative Extension Service and the Rochester Institute of Technology.

The project was funded by $1.2 million in grants from the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service Program (CSREES) with additional grant support from the Livingston County Planning Dept., the Altria Corporation and the Conesus Lake Association.

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