Owasco Lake is like the trunk of a tree, said Andrew Snell, a watershed specialist for the lake. Into that tree are tons of branches, which Snell compares to tributaries — streams that feed into the lake. And what those branches carry into the main trunk or water body affects the overall health of the system.
The problem, Snell said, is that many people do not know where those tributaries are, or what they are called. To help monitor those crucial lifelines into the lake, Snell is spearheading a project called the Tributary Adoption and Identification Pilot Project. Similar to the state Adopt A Highway program, Snell said, the idea is to get as many eyes as possible on the streams so that any problems or concerns can be reported as quickly as possible.