Tourism and the Seneca Lake Wineries: Assessment of Water Impacts

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Tourism and the Seneca Lake Wineries: Assessment of Water Impacts by TL Griffiths December 15, 2011 Seneca Lake and the Finger Lakes Region attract a significant number of tourists to New York State each year, and the wineries are key to maintaining the $2 billion revenue generated annually by these tourists (Halfman, 2009). The impact of these wineries, however, has a negative impact on the water in the region, given the amount of runoff and the lack of water conservation measures by these wineries.
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    ! #$%&' )*+ ,-. /.*.0) 1)2. 3%*.$%.&4 5&&.&&'.*, 6 3),.$ 7'8)0,&   !919 :$%66%* #$%& '()*+,++- ./01 .2++,& .345673893:;< =;3;>9893: 7? $3:963;:573;< @7A65B8 %949<7C893: $3B:6AD:76& =9>;3 .C<96 E77F %;:9& %9D98G96 +HI J)++  T.L. Griffin HUID #: 30718119 ENVR E-118 Executive Summary Seneca Lake and the Finger Lakes Region attract a significant number of tourists to New York State each year, and the wineries are key to maintaining the $2 billion revenue generated annually by these tourists (Halfman, 2009). The impact of these wineries, however, has a negative impact on the water in the region, given the amount of runoff and the lack of water conservation measures by these wineries. Over the past 20 years, the water quality of Seneca Lake has declined, mainly due to the impacts from agricultural activities, primarily winery operations. Seneca Lake is the primary drinking water supply source for its surrounding community, and the declining water quality is concerning for present and future generations. Winery operators and local community members, however, have not become actively involved in changing this trend; yet, they are essential in helping wineries to improve their operations and to change the trend of declining water quality in Seneca Lake. Helping the Seneca Lake wineries to improve their impact on the water in the region is crucial for ensuring the long-term sustainability of these wineries and for maintaining the quality of water in Seneca Lake. These wineries need to improve their impact on water through implementing water conservation measures, reducing their runoff, improving the awareness of water issues among community members, and instituting a partnership-based program with other organizations that support sustainability measures. By implementing these practices, the Seneca Lake wineries will continue to attract tourists and support the local economy, and most importantly, they will do so without negatively impacting the water of Seneca Lake.  T.L. Griffin HUID #: 30718119 ENVR E-118 # Table of Contents  Introduction....................................................................................................................................5 Wine Industry – Finger Lakes Region.........................................................................................7 Current Situation.......................................................................................................................................7 Trends........................................................................................................................................................8 Challenges.................................................................................................................................................8 Environmental Management Issue – Water Pollution...............................................................9 Finger Lakes Region.................................................................................................................................9 Seneca Lake.............................................................................................................................................11 Regulatory Challenges.................................................................................................................13 Best Management Practices........................................................................................................15 Programs..................................................................................................................................................15 Methods – Soil Conservation and Water Management...........................................................................17 Conclusions...................................................................................................................................19 Recommendations........................................................................................................................22 Winery Activities....................................................................................................................................23 Community Awareness...........................................................................................................................24 Partnerships.............................................................................................................................................24  T.L. Griffin HUID #: 30718119 ENVR E-118 $ List of Figures Figure 1 – The Eleven Lakes of the Finger Lakes Region   ..........................................................5 Figure 2 – Finger Lakes Land Use.............................................................................................10
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