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Invasive Plant Choking Cross Lake, Seneca River: Onondaga County to Spend $50K to remediate

Eno Point Water Chestnuts - JSS.jpg
John Smith/WAER News
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Invasive water chestnut choking Cross Lake, Seneca River, hurting boating, fishing and swimming opportunities. County grant could help.

Residents who enjoy waterways in Onondaga County from Cross Lake to the Seneca River are dealing with an invasive species that’s shutting down swimming and boating. County Executive Ryan McMahon Thursday announced an investment to help remediate the problem.

For years generations who’ve owned properties around Eno Point on Cross Lake enjoyed a small beach and boating. That was up until about 3 years ago when the water chestnuts began invading the waters. The beach was shut down and boats weren't able to launch because their propellers get tangled up with the chestnuts.

McMahon announced a $50,000 investment by the County to help remediate the problems the invasive plant is creating.

“This is also pushing into the Seneca River all the way through Baldwinsville into the town of Clay.  And so it really prohibits free-flowing use of the waterways.”

McMahon also applauded the local residents who accomplished a herculean effort over the weekend.

“We have a great community here at Eno Point Association on Cross Lake that pulled 30-thosuand pounds of water chestnuts this weekend – 30-thousand pounds, just amazing.”

Lynn Lynch is President of the Eno Point Campers Association. Cross Lake is on the Canal system which routinely attracts boaters traveling through from other states, as far away as Florida. The water chestnuts impact boating and ruin the waters for fishing, another part of the local economy.

“And so if this was to take over the waterways, it would be impassable.  So it’s important not only to us, but also for the entire country and the state to keep the recreation going, to keep the fish alive, and just to give everyone their livelihood.”  

The remediation efforts to clean up water chestnuts in county waterways will begin at the end of the year and continue next spring.