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Lake Onota Preservation Association (LOPA) was established in 1985 as a citizen support group to the City of Pittsfield as the City pursued funding under the Clean Lakes Program.  LOPA’s first president was the City of Pittsfield’s Community Development Director.  LOPA’s bylaws state its mission in support of the City of Pittsfield. “Lake Onota Preservation Association is an organization of volunteers.  Our mission is to work with the City of Pittsfield and other partners to keep Onota Lake ecologically healthy, naturally beautiful, and recreationally valuable for all users for generations to come.”

An initial task of LOPA was the formation of a review and selection committee to select a contractor to conduct a Diagnostic/Feasibility Study (D/F Study) in 1987/88.  The committee ultimately selected the IT Corporation to conduct a one year D/F Study, which has set the stage for the efforts to preserve the lake.  Several recommendations from that study have been completed and others are in various stages in the process of being completed.

The Clean Lakes Program funding was discontinued after the completion of the Diagnostic/Feasibility Study resulting in the temporary inactivity of LOPA.  LOPA was revitalized in 1995 when a volunteer monitoring program was created in connection with the USGS Satellite Monitoring Program.  The volunteer monitoring program has since become an integral part of the lake management effort.