Lake Papakeechie Sustainability Initiative

LaPSI Inc.

An Aerial Photograph of Lake Papakeechie, Syracuse, Indiana

Lake Picture


The Lake Papakeechie Sustainability Initiative (LaPSI) was founded by Anthony S. Serianni in 2012, in collaboration with an advocate on the Papakeechie Protective Association Board, Bernie Ebetino. The idea grew from Prof. Serianni's teaching of sustainability principles and practices in a Sustainability Gateway course embedded in the Sustainability Minor started at Notre Dame in 2011, and from his personal interest in Lake Papakeechie.

Lake Papakeechie is a 179-acre private, non-sports lake in Syracuse, Indiana (Kosciusko County). The lake is part of a three-lake interconnected water system comprising Syracuse Lake, Lake Wawasee and Lake Papakeechie. The Tri-County State Preserve lies directly south of Lake Papakeechie. Since the complete water system lies north of the Continental Divide, waters from the Tri-County Preserve flow northward and into the above-noted three-lake system, and from there into the St. Joseph River. To explore the direction of flow of streams and rivers in the United States, see Streamer.


LaPSI serves all of the residents of Lake Papakeechie, represented by the Papakeechie Protective Association, as an environmental information resource to promote a healthy, vibrant, beautiful, and sustainable ecosystem at Lake Papakeechie and its environs, including its watershed, through the use of modern and diverse scientific tools and methods.


To serve as a key technical information resource and advisory group to the Papakeechie Protective Association (PPA), and its Board, on matters related to the health of the Lake Papakeechie ecosystem as assessed by modern scientific methods; to engage with local, state, and national individuals, groups and organizations on lake management approaches and methods; to witness continuous improvement in the quality of life in and on Lake Papakeechie over the coming decade and beyond; to insure that Lake Papakeechie remains a desirable and thriving community for future generations of all life on the lake; to respond to, and manage, events of nature (e.g., climate change) in a manner that secures and ensures a viable long-term future for the lake and its diverse ecosystems.

Principles of Operation

To fulfill its mission and vision, LaPSI employs multiple approaches and methods, including but not limited to: (a) the collection, analysis, archiving and communicating of scientific data on water quality, and on other biological and ecological parameters; (b) responsible applications of contemporary management, control and conservation measures; (c) consistent monitoring and assessment of aquatic and non-aquatic microorganisms, plants and animals; (d) supporting and promoting sustainable behaviors and activities by lake residents with respect to use of the lake as a natural resource and source of pleasure; and (e) ensuring and promoting the private character of Lake Papakeechie.


LaPSI was incorporated in the State of Indiana on March 15, 2017 as a domestic nonprofit corporation, and a Certificate of Incorporation has been issued. On June 29, 2017, LaPSI was granted 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service. LaPSI, Inc. ByLaws and Conflict of Interest Policy are found below.

Members and Contact Information

Current Leadership

Current Members and Their Primary Activities

Past Leadership

LaPSI Consultants

Achieved and Aspirational Goals, Activities and Studies

1. Develop and implement a Lake Management Plan

2. Background Studies

3. Identify and address potential lake environmental factors/issues/problems, including: weeds/algae/invasive plant growth and management; noise control; fish (size, number and species distribution); shoreline management; litter/rubbish removal; wildlife control; water level; effects from runoff/seepage.

4. Implement a systematic water testing program, including: dissolved O2; temperature as function of depth; nutrient analysis, including total phosphorus, nitrogen, and chlorophyll a; water transparency (Secchi); water hardness; pH; sedimentation; bacterial load (E. coli).

5. Identify and evaluate intervention options chemical/biological control of vegetation physical harvesting of vegetation: alien/invasive species control (fish and/or plant); agricultural runoff land purchases for protective purposes.

6. Develop a plan for shoreline maintenance and development to promote shoreline ecology, natural beauty, and sustain/improve property values.

7. Conduct a fish census; consider stocking options.

8. Maintain an up-to-date website to disseminate information, and prepare and distribute an annual newsletter to lake residents summarizing meeting discussions, scientific data and an analysis/interpretation thereof; provide advice and guidelines for the protection and enhancement of the lake and its watershed.

9. Identify and secure funding to cover costs associated with the implementation of the Management Plan; recruit volunteers in the lake community to help with data collection.

10. Develop professional relationships with existing lake management groups and organizations within the county, state and country, including the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation (WACF), the Indiana Clean Lakes Program, the Indiana Lakes Management Society (ILMS), and the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS).

11. Develop working relationships with local colleges/universities and other institutions to promote the development of a LaPSI Advisory Board, and promote joint activities and projects. The local colleges and universities include the University of Notre Dame, Holy Cross College, St. Mary's College, Goshen College, Indiana University-South Bend, Bethel College and Grace College.

Commissioned Technical Studies and Reports

Summary Report of LaPSI Activities - 2012-2016

Maps, Technical Documents, and Scientific Methods and Equipment


For an extensive collection of Indiana geographic information system (GIS) map data, see IndianaMAP.


Curlyleaf pondweed Download

Eurasian watermilfoil Download

Purple loosestrife Download

The following articles provide additional discussion of aquatic plants and weeds, and the positive and negative consequences of the various methods used to control them.

Aquatic Plants - Not Just Weeds Download

Aquatic Weeds - Nuisance and Necessity Download

Test Equipment in Operation:
Test Equipment Under Evaluation:
Ancillary Equipment:

Matters of Interest To PPA Board Members


Northern Indiana Lakes Council Project


External Funding/Grants

1. Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts (ISLA Da Vinci Grant), University of Notre Dame, 2013. Stakeholder Mindset and Ecological Impact: Do Personal Beliefs and Values of Lake Papakeechie and Lake Wawasee Residents Influence Lake Stewardship? Total cost $4468. Download

2. Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts (ISLA Da Vinci Grant), University of Notre Dame, 2014. Stakeholder Values and Lake Ecology: Motivating Adjoining Lake Communities in a Common Watershed Through Improved Communication and Best Management Practices. Total cost $4000. Download

3. Omicron Biochemicals Inc., South Bend, IN 46617. Unrestricted Grant-2012. Total cost $2000.

4. Omicron Biochemicals Inc., South Bend, IN 46617. Unrestricted Grant-2013. Total cost $2000.

5. Omicron Biochemicals Inc., South Bend, IN 46617. Unrestricted Grant-2014. Total cost $2000.

Invited Speakers and Other Presentations

1. Jim Donahoe, Aquatic Weed Control. Syracuse Community Center, March 15, 2014.

2. Limnological and Social Psychological Studies of Lake Papakeechie and Its Environs. A. S. Serianni, PPA Board Meeting, North Webster, April 12, 2014. Download

3. Lake Checkups: Water Quality Tests: A Multi-Media Communication Tool. Z. Martin, R. Van Matre and A. S. Serianni, Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy, Final Project, Conference Center, Fort Harrison State Park, May 21, 2014. Download

4. LaPSI Poster, PPA Annual Meeting, August 2014. Download

5. Prof. Nate Bosch, Director, Center of Lakes and Streams, Grace College. Syracuse Community Center, November 1, 2014.

6. Stakeholder Mindset and Ecological Impact: Effect of Personal Beliefs and Value Systems of Lake Residents on Lake Stewardship. H. Becker and A. S. Serianni, Indiana Academy of Science Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, March 2015. Download

7. Martha Bishop Ferguson, Master Gardener/Master Naturalist. Syracuse Community Center, March 21, 2015. See this link for more information.

Water Testing SOPs

1. Secchi Water Testing SOP: Download

2. DO/T Water Testing SOP (2013 Version): Download

3. DO/T Water Testing SOP (2014 Version): Download

4. E. coli Water Testing SOP: Download

Additional LaPSI SOPs

1. Using the GPS Function on an Apple iPhone: Download

2. Basic Instructions on the Use of Microsoft Excel: Download

3. Instructions on the Use of the Lowrance HDS5 GPS Unit: Download

4. Instructions on Charging the Battery on the Lowrance HDS5 GPS Unit: Download

Lake Ecology and Lake Management Articles and Documents

1. Understanding Lake Ecology. Taken from: Limnology, 2nd Edition, A. J. Horne and C. R. Goldman, Chapter 1, McGraw-Hill, NY, 1994). Download

2. Common Lake Water Quality Parameters. Lake Notes, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, December 1998. Download

3. Lake Papakeechie: Beneath the Surface: An Investigation into Your Lake's Health. Center for Lakes and Streams, Grace College, 2015. Download

Experimental Results; Raw Data Archive

Notre Dame Undergraduate Summer Research Reports


1. Water Testing Key To Sustaining Lake Water Quality. The Mail Journal, August 21, 2013. This is a large file that may take time to download. Download

LaPSI Phamphlets, Brochures and Related Materials

LaPSI Meeting Minutes


LaPSI Web Site, Papakeechie Protective Association (PPA)
Papakeechie Protective Association (PPA)
Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation (WACF)
Wawasee Property Owners Association
Indiana Clean Lakes Program, Indiana University
Lilly Center for Lakes and Streams, Grace College
Tippecanoe Watershed Foundation
Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy (IWLA), Purdue University
North American Lake Management Society (NALMS)
Indiana Lakes Management Society (ILMS)
Midwest Aquatic Plant Management Society (MAPMS)

Web Master: Anthony Serianni - Last Update 08/03/17