CLWA has received grant funding through Freshwater Future for research into Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) on Canandaigua Lake.
This project proposes to look at a potentially understudied contaminant in the Finger Lakes and the role it might play in lake foam production and/or contamination. Canandaigua Lake experiences episodic production of large volumes of surface foam.
In 2019-2020, CLWA engaged with research partners at Global Aquatic Research to investigate the lake foam. The results suggested that lake foam can concentrate pollutants and contaminants at a higher level than the surrounding lake water. Recent studies in Michigan have shown that lake foam may also contain high levels of PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals”.
Canandaigua Lake municipal drinking water has been tested for PFAS and it is worth noting that there have not been detectable levels found in these tests. However, CLWA finds value in continuing to monitor for PFAs in our lake ecosystem.
How you can help.
This fall, will be looking for the ideal lake foam to sample – the thin foam that can be found mid-lake (see photo as an example). We need crowd-sourced data to help us find this type of foam event. CLWA hosts a foam reporting link and we ask the community to please submit reports when the foam is observed. The images submitted are sent to the research team in real time, allowing for quick decision-making on the ideal event to sample.