Community Access, Education & Engagement

Discover Cayuga Lake is committed to creating opportunities for everyone to engage with the lake. We hope to offer cruises and events that not only educate, but emphasize all that is great about our lakes. We are working with local partners to create inspiring experiences that speak to all segments of our community. We welcome your ideas!

  • 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 - 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!


Enjoy the sunset as you learn a little about your lake!

Enjoy the sunset as you learn a little about your lake!

2019 Community Cruise Schedule:

Wednesdays in July, 7-9pm
Wednesdays in August, 6:30-8:30pm
Wednesdays in September, 6-8pm

  • July 24th - Glenn Ratajcak, Bolton Point Production Manager - Pros and Cons of Cayuga Lake as a Water Supply. Glenn will discuss the general source water characteristics of the lake and also concentrate on current issues such as HAB's, hydrilla, and other contaminants. We will also use DCL’s equipment to analyze lake samples for algae, pH, clarity, and temperature.

  • July 31st – Josh Teeter, NYS Parks Environmental Educator – The Balancing Act of State Parks. What we do on land can affect our water. Learn about the balancing act that local New York State Parks perform in order to provide multiple recreational opportunities for millions of visitors while also trying to protect, preserve and restore New York State Parks natural, historical and cultural resources.

  • August 7th - Natalee Wrege, Cayuga Nature Center- Changing Cayuga: Pressures of the Present

  • August 14th - no community cruise

  • August 21st – Rod Howe, History Center of Tompkins Co. - The History Center Watershed Project: Commerce, Recreation, Mysteries and Sustainability. Cayuga Lake is an integral part of our community and has multiple narratives that connect the past, present and future. The History Center in Tompkins County will highlight some of those narratives and engage riders to set the lake in a broader place context.

  • 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 - tbd

  • September 11th - tbd

  • September 19th - Camille Ducet, Science and Nature Illustrator and Creator of the Cayuga Lake BioRegional Map and Brigid Hubberman, Illustrator and Author working on a book to educate children about the Cayuga Lake watershed - Why is art important as we develop a relationship with Nature?

  • September 25th - Bike to the Boat event - stay tuned for details

NOTES:

  • Community Cruises are pay-as-you-can donation based. All donations are most appreciated and help us to cover the costs of our educational programs and mission.

  • You may bring your own food and refreshments on board, though we aspire to work with local wineries and breweries to offer local beverages for sale.

  • You should book your Community Cruise ahead of time, by selecting the date of interest in our Booking Calendar.


Enjoy the sights and sounds of music on the water!

Enjoy the sights and sounds of music on the water!

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

NOTES:

  • 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 complement our Trout in the Classroom Program to ensure knowledge about the ecology and health of our lake!

Lake monitoring activities complement our Trout in the Classroom Program to ensure knowledge about the ecology and health of our lake!

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.  

Plankton Sampling

We use a plankton net to gather teeming hordes of tiny but diverse living organisms from the lake.

Plankton Microscopy

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.