The Oneida Lake and Watershed Management Plan

Project Watershed Central New York

Project Watershed is a non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating water resource education in Central New York schools by providing student access to programs, equipment, training, and a database on the Internet. The program teaches communities about the potential threats to water quality and the importance of continued water monitoring. The Program also supports a community's efforts to achieve optimal water quality in the region's watersheds.

Founded by two science teachers in 1994, Project Watershed is a grassroots, volunteer organization serving high school classes and student groups. As a result of the program's efforts, students are provided an opportunity to:

  • learn first-hand about water resources, water quality, the watershed concept, non-point source pollution and stream monitoring;
  • collect stream survey data for Project Watershed's Internet database;
  • identify specific water quality concerns and communicate their findings to appropriate agencies; and
  • develop a sensible stewardship for water resources in their communities.

Project Watershed is supported and guided by a consortium of educational, governmental and industrial professionals, a board of directors, and a cadre of dedicated volunteers. During the 2001-2002 school year, eighteen high school student classes and groups monitored fifteen streams in Onondaga, Cortland, Madison and Oneida Counties. Project Watershed's Director, Bill Legg, meets each of these groups at their selected stream site, orients them to the physical, chemical and biological procedures and, with their teacher, supervises the students' monitoring experience.

When the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board (CNY RPDB) launched the Oneida Lake Southern Region Strategy in 1998, Project Watershed was invited to participate as a member of the Education and Outreach Committee. In May 1999, Project Watershed and CNY RPDB sponsored a training workshop for interested teachers in the southern Oneida Lake watershed for the purpose of monitoring the lake's tributaries every spring and fall. Since then, these schools have been monitoring the following Oneida Lake tributaries: East Syracuse Minoa High School and Manlius Pebble Hill School, Butternut and Limestone Creeks; Cazenovia High School, Chittenango Creek; Chittenango High School, Chittenango and Canaseraga Creeks; Canastota high School, Cowaselon Creek; and Oneida High School, Oneida Creek. Additional information on Project Watershed CNY, including test results, can be obtained from: Bill Legg, Director, Project Watershed CNY 2563 Webb Road, Lafayette, NY 13084 Phone (315) 677-5194, E-mail

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For more information on the Oneida Lake Watershed Management Plan activities e-mail the Central New York Regional Planning Board.

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