Onondaga Lake Clean-up

onondagacountyparks.com

The public will get to hear more details this week about the next phase of remediation to Onondaga Lake along the southwest portion of the lake and where the County plans to extend biking and hiking trails. 

 

Wildlife Photo Exhibit Showcases Resurgence of Onondaga Lake

Mar 23, 2018
Scott Willis/WAER News

Bald Eagles.  A snowy owl.  A red-winged blackbird.  Even monarch butterflies.  All were captured by Syracuse-area wildlife photographers for the 5th annual photo exhibit this weekend at the Onondaga Lake Visitor’s Center.  The images are not only a demonstration of the beautiful wildlife in the area, they also document the resurgence of Onondaga Lake.

                                 

provided photo

A renowned fisheries expert from SUNY ESF admits he never gave Onondaga Lake or its fish much thought as he drove past the lake for ten years.  Now, after more than 30 years of research, Dr. Neil Ringler will discuss improvements in Onondaga Lake’s fish population at a special event later this month.  He says when he first began in 1986, he was astounded at how many fish were in the polluted lake…

"I'm not sure a respectable bald eagle would dive and grab something out of that lake.  But there was never a time that we know of when there were no fish in the lake."

Scott Willis / WAER News

Onondaga Lake marked a major milestone this week when dredging and capping operations were declared complete.  As recently as 15 years ago, and as far back as a century, many felt the lake and its habitat would never be restored after decades of industrial pollution.  Centerstate CEO President Rob Simpson says  that cynicism has persisted as a metaphor for the region on several fronts.

FOCUS Greater Syracuse

As Onondaga Lake visitors get to enjoy expanded amenities such as the West Lake Trail, County officials have previously indicated a beach could possibly be added someday.  A new survey released today asks Central New York Residents what they envision for the lake including recreational activities.  FOCUS Greater Syracuse is offering the online survey on their website.  Spokesperson Dee Klees says this is different from the other lake surveys they’ve conducted in the past.

Local Photography Exhibit Displays Migrating Birds at Onondaga Lake

Mar 31, 2016
Cheryl Lloyd

Migrating birds have found the perfect place to make a landing spot anywhere around Onondaga Lake, and local photographers have the photos to prove it.  The Executive Director of Audubon New York credits the revitalization efforts of the lake as the reason it tends to be a popular landing pad.  There are at least 50 acres of wetlands.  Erin Crotty says Onondaga Lake is critically important to several species.

“Birds that are migrating through the community and using Onondaga Lake as a source of food and shelter.”

Chris Bolt/WAER News

The Onondaga Nation is calling for a change in strategy on cleaning up Onondaga Lake. Nation leaders were at the lakeside today, criticizing one part of the remediation that failed. Nation attorney Alma Lowry says the public hears about progress, but not problems.

High Profile Swim in Onondaga Lake Shows Promise of Lake's Future

Jul 23, 2015
Elana Sukert/WAER News

  Local dignitaries and residents took the plunge on Wednesday into the warm waters of Onondaga Lake. What was once considered one of the most polluted lakes in the nation, now meets the official standards for being swimmable. 

Scott Willis / WAER News

  Eighty Syracuse-area middle school students have spent the past week gathering water and soil samples, catching insects, observing fish,  and studying mud boils in Tully to learn more about the Onondaga Lake watershed.  It’s the tenth year of Honeywell's Summer Science Week, which is organized by the Museum of Science and Technology.  Solvay 8th grader Sidney Chafee wants to go into marine biology or a related field.  She enjoyed learning about the restoration of the lake’s wetlands after decades of pollution.

Honeywell

Much of the focus of the Onondaga Lake clean-up project has been on the lake itself with dredging completed last fall and capping operations set to begin this spring.  But there’s also been an effort to clean and restore  44 acres of contaminated  wetlands in the lake’s watershed.  This report takes a closer look at what’s being done…and the wetlands' role in the return of the lake’s ecology. It’s a chilly, early spring day, and we’ve pulled up to where Geddes Brook joins Nine Mile Creek, just across the 695 freeway from the state fairgrounds.    SUNY ESF Professor and Chair of Environmental and Forest Biology Don Leopold says the now meandering brook didn’t always look like this.  Before, it resembled more of a ditch surrounded by a single invasive plant.

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