Community Access, Education & Engagement
Discover Cayuga Lake is committed to creating opportunities for everyone to engage with the lake. We offer cruises and events that encourage recreation and education to emphasize all that is great about our lakes while also highlighting issues of concern. We are working with local partners to create inspiring experiences that speak to all segments of our community and we welcome your ideas!
In the fall we offer cruises to wrap up our season, to inform community members of our work, to thank everyone for their contributions and to celebrate our accomplishments!
To sign up for our:
Our Community Access Program includes:
Weekly Community Cruises feature guest presenters, local wineries and optional hands on activities, along with our narrators and a beautiful Cayuga sunset. Fares are “pay what you wish” to ensure affordability for all. WEDNESDAYS AT SUNSET
—> 2020 Community Cruises are being planned now! If you are interested to be a presenter on the boat, or know someone who would be great, please be in touch. Presentations can range from a variety of topics that touch upon history, aesthetics, culture, social equity, environmental topics and more.
—> See below for the 2019 schedule.
Weekly Club Cayuga Cruises at discounted rates with local DJs on board - SUNDAYS AT SUNSET - see below for the 2019 schedule
Our Volunteer Program. Opportunities are available for locals to be trained to work with our educational and citizen science programs. See below for the types of monitoring activities that we do. For those participating we offer an ECO-CRUISE every Friday 12:30-2:30 - Please email us with your interest!
Discounted rates to local organizations with whom we collaborate to offer on-board programs and events. Please email us with your interest.
High School and College intern programs
Collaborations with local non-profit and municipal organizations such as the Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP) which monitors for Harmful Algal Blooms, the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network and the Cayuga Lake Watershed Intermunicipal Organization
We also welcome new ideas and ask you to be in touch with us if you have any you’d like to share!
2020 Community Cruises being planned now!
If you are interested to be a presenter on the boat, or know someone who would be great, please be in touch. Presentations can range from a variety of topics that touch upon history, aesthetics, culture, social equity, environmental topics and more.
2019 Community Cruise Schedule:
Wednesdays at Sunset
July 24th - Glenn Ratajcak, Bolton Point Production Manager - Pros and Cons of Cayuga Lake as a Water Supply.
July 31st – Josh Teeter, NYS Parks – “The Balancing Act of State Parks. What we do on land can affect our water.”
August 7th - Natalee Wrege, Cayuga Nature Center. “Changing Cayuga: Pressures of the Present.”
August 14th - no community cruise
August 21st – Rod Howe & Ben Sandberg, History Center of Tompkins Co., Prof. Michael Smith of Ithaca College - “Cayuga Lake: Commerce, Recreation, Mysteries and Sustainability. “
August 28th - Susan Allen-Gil and Jose Lozano, Professors of Environmental Studies at Ithaca College and Cornell - Emerging Contaminants of Concern, including Mircoplastics
September 4th - Paul King, Wine maker at Six Mile Creek Vineyard, Cayuga Lake as an Engine/Climate Regulator
September 11th - Caryn Davies, Olympic gold medal rower: Rowing from Cayuga Lake to the Olympics
September 19th - Camille Doucet, Science and Nature Illustrator and Creator of the Cayuga Lake BioRegional Map. Why is art important as we develop a relationship with Nature?
September 25th - Bike to the Boat Event, featuring Ithaca Lime Bike Regional Director, Jeff Goodmark. Bike, Scoot, Walk or Run to the Boat, just don’t drive! There will be a DJ on board, snacks and a presentation on Micro-mobility by Jeff. Lime Bike Ithaca will be offering free ride coupons to bike to and from the boat. Stay tuned for details on our Facebook page.
Community Cruises are pay-as-you-can donation based, to ensure affordability for everyone in our community. Your contribution, however, will help us keep providing community lake access and high quality education programs. We welcome your support and feedback, as well!
You may bring your own food and refreshments on board, though nearly every Community Cruise will feature a local winery or brewery onboard to offer beverages for sale.
You should book your Community Cruise ahead of time, by selecting the date of interest in our Booking Calendar.
2019 Club Cayuga Schedule
Sundays at Sunset (exact times vary by month)
July 4th - Salsa at Sunset w DJ Michael Luis
July 11th - Hip Hop Soul Cruise w DJ ha-MEEN
July 21st - no Club Cayuga Cruise
July 28th - Reggae Cruise w DJ Mike Judah
August 4th - Rainbow Sunset Cruise w DJ Gundz
August 11th - Reggae Cruise w DJ Mike Judah
August 18th - Salsa at Sunset w DJ Michael Luis
August 25th - Rainbow Sunset Cruise w DJ Gundz
September 1st - Reggae Cruise w DJ Mike Judah
September 8th - Hip Hop Soul Cruise w DJ ha-MEEN
September 15th - Salsa at Sunset w DJ Michael Luis
September 22nd - Rainbow Sunset Cruise w DJ Gundz
September 29th - Hip Hop Soul Cruise w DJ ha-MEEN
Club Cayuga prices are $25/adult or 2 for $40
You may bring your own food and refreshments on board.
Book your Club Cayuga Cruise ahead of time, by selecting the date of interest in our Booking Calendar.
LAKE MONITORING ACTIVITIES
Cayuga Water Lab
A typical Cayuga Water Lab Cruise has four stations on the boat at a deep water site, including field/weather conditions, GPS sampling location, Secchi clarity, Water temperature and pH profile, plankton survey.
We use a plankton net to gather teeming hordes of tiny but diverse living organisms from the lake.
With scopes, available on-board, participants learn to observe and identify the plankton they've collected.
Water Clarity Analysis
How far does sunlight travel down into the lake? This is an essential measurement when we're monitoring the the environment under the water's surface.
Profiling the Lake at Different Depths
What changes happen when you start moving from the surface of the water down into the depths of the lake? Depth profiles help us understand how the structure of the lake is changing from one day to the next.
Sample and Investigate Aquatic Plants
There are many different aquatic plants. Participants can dredge up samples from the bottom of the lake and record data on what plant species they find.
Collect and Analyze Sediment Samples
The lake's ecosystem is more than just the water column. Keep going down below the sediment, and there is so much more to discover!
Invasive Species Survey
An Invasive Species Survey features shallow water stops at multiple locations and aquatic plant sampling and observation.
For more detailed information about these activities and our educational programs, please click here.