Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Who are CSLAP Participants?

The lake associations and volunteers in the CSLAP program are diverse and spread throughout New York State.

Participating Lake Associations

An image of a small wooden dock on a lake.
Lake associations represent small ponds and
large lakes.

Over 240 lake associations and 1500 volunteers have participated in CSLAP. CSLAP lakes are distributed in nearly all 62 counties within NYS.

Lake associations involved in the CSLAP program collect information from public and private lakes throughout New York that range in size from small ponds to large lakes.

Lake associations' reasons for involvement in CSLAP vary from protecting water quality to documenting lake conditions to restoring the use of their lake.

But all CSLAP lake associations collect data and lake information in a consistent, reproducible way using the same equipment, sampling procedures, and laboratories.

Who are the Volunteers?

CSLAP volunteers are concerned citizens dedicated to conserving and protecting lake resources and providing data to help develop lake management plans.

An image of CSLAP volunteers in the back of a boat.
CSLAP volunteers participate in hands-on training
to learn how to collect water samples.

CSLAP volunteers are a diverse group of people with a range of educational and scientific backgrounds:

  • lake residents and users

  • teachers

  • lakefront community members

  • students

  • scientists

More than 1500 of these enthusiastic volunteers have contributed more than 75,000 hours to help better understand and protect NYS lakes. Their involvement has provided more than $2 million volunteer "dollars" to help support statewide lake monitoring.

How can I join?

Although there are several DEC stewardship programs available to budding scientists and other interested citizens, CSLAP participation is limited to volunteers from NYSFOLA member lake associations interested in conducting sampling on their lake. Please see NYSFOLA web page to determine if your lake association participates in CSLAP and to learn more about how to become a CSLAP volunteer.

Send in your success story!

Many lake associations have used CSLAP data to develop lake management plans, identify lake concerns, educate the public, develop research projects, manage nutrient inputs into lakes, measure changes in the lake over time, address invasive species issues, and help with dam management.

If you are a NYSFOLA lake association and have a success story, please share it by emailing us at