We had over 10,000 guests join us for our public cruises this summer! These are the cruises that generate the revenue for our mission oriented programs. Interestingly, 33% of these bookings were from the 14850 area code, which means locals are enjoying our eco-cruises too. This year we placed a lot of emphasis on developing the content of our Osprey Eco-Cruises. Our intern, Kit, spent the summer designing new visual and sensory material for people to explore which has made these cruises all the more interesting for everyone!
2,500 locals joined us for our free and discounted Community Cruises to engage with the lake in experiential ways. Community Sunset Cruises, Lake Monitoring Cruises, Family Eco-Cruises and Club Cayuga were mostly packed this year. And we had more organizations join us for Community Charters, like the one pictured above which Senators Lesley Webb, Rachel May and Assemblywoman Anna Kelles organized to help educate their constituents. We’re so glad the word is out! We had an amazing line-up of speakers this year for our Community Sunset Cruises that included presentations about lake monsters and lake legends, local Haudenosaunee history and corn mash tasting, local cider tasting, water poetry writing, microplastic education, climate change considerations, and more. We’ll be curious to see what the subjects are next year!
3,200 Floating Classroom students joined us for our boat-based education program. Area schools, colleges and homeschoolers participated in science experiments and observations concerning our Cayuga Lake watershed, and we all had a great time while doing it.
We employed 8 teen-age Youth Crew, who gained work place skills and experience in the fields of boating, eco-tourism, environmental education, lake monitoring and citizen science and even led an entire 4-Hour Lake & Land Tour for our guests by the end of the summer! This means they on-boarded our guests, provided nearly two hours worth of the narration, explained all of the lake monitoring equipment and observations they made all summer, ordered lunch, made our guests feel special and even quizzed them on their lake knowledge with a fun game of trivia they developed. We were so proud of them!
11 young adult interns participated in our second season of the Cayuga Lake Watershed Internship Program, focusing on projects related to raptor conservation, water data interpretation, early childhood environmental education, community outreach, climate change, permaculture and so much more. This program was co-hosted by the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, the Groundswell Center for Food & Farming, Sustainable Finger Lakes, the Town of Ithaca, and Paddle-n-More. These collaborations are proving to be fertile ground for many intriguing conversations and thoughts about the future of the place we all live in and love.
While not on the boat, our Trout in the Classroom Program supported aquariums in 19 schools, serving nearly 2,000 students in the education of fish ecology and watershed stewardship. That’s a lot of kids releasing trout into the streams in the spring and just recently we went to the Hammondsport Fish Hatchery to get the next batch of eggs for this year’s schools. Here we go again!
Lastly, have you noticed our new website? It’s a big deal! We hope you find it more informative and user friendly and take a moment to click around and learn more about who we are and what we do. And, your feedback is welcome!
State Senators and their invited guests convened on the boat for a 3 hour cruise to learn about lake health and experience its beauty.
Thank you to everyone who joined us on the boat this past year. You have given us many great memories, as we’ve shared the wonders of the world including fiery sunsets, meteor showers, fall foliage, bird sightings and countless hours of viewing mysterious plankton under the microscopes to name just a few!
And we thank our numerous community partners, donors and sponsors who are invaluable in helping us provide the programs we co-create, and who support our mission of equitable access to nature and of developing nurturing relationships between people and the watersheds upon which they depend, for the benefit of all two and four legged, winged and scaled and leafy beings everywhere.
We’ll be providing more details about some of these programs in the near future as we work towards our end of the year Fundraising Goal of $50,000. We’re getting close. Please help if you can. Donate to our Cayuga Lake Community Fund today or before the end of the year at: https://www.givegab.com/campaigns/2023-cayuga-lake-community-fund