March 2006

EPA Funding Approved for Watershed Improvement Projects

The Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board (CNY RPDB) recently received a $248,000 grant from the US EPA. Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County, the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Cornell Biological Field Station, the CNY RPDB and other organizations will use this funding to support the Oneida Lake Education Initiative, the Oneida Lake Watershed Agriculture Program, the Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program, the Nutrient Management Program, and general administrative tasks. For additional information, contact Anne Saltman at

Promoting Education Throughout the Region

A comprehensive education program has been implemented with activities designed for students, municipal officials, homeowners, and lake users in Onondaga, Madison, Oneida, Oswego, and Lewis Counties. Funding from the Central New York Community Foundation and the U.S. EPA is being used for educational website development and maintenance, updates for the “Oneida Lake Profile”, lake programs in local schools, a summer lecture series, an aquatic weed control program, and Celebrate the Lake.  For more information check the following website:

Celebrating Our Lake

During July and August 2006, agencies, organizations, and municipalities are encouraged to sponsor activities and opportunities for lake users that highlight water resources throughout the Oneida Lake watershed. You are invited to join many other groups that are scheduling tours, cultural events, and recreational opportunities that enhance public enjoyment and appreciation of our local water resources. Free publicity will be provided. Celebrate the Lake is designed to improve tourism while strengthening watershed partnerships. Refer to the attached Fact Sheet and Entry Form for additional information.

Know Your Lake

During July and August, special guest speakers will present topics about our natural resources, fisheries, recreation, and tourism as part of the Know Your Lake lecture series. These events will be offered to the public free of charge. Presentations are currently being planned so if you are interested in hearing about a special topic or if you have a topic you would like to present, please send your suggestions to

Cornell Cooperative Extension Seeks Volunteers for the Weeds Watch Out! (W2O) Adopt-A-Shoreline Program

Invasive aquatic plants like water chestnut and European frogbit have invaded Oneida Lake and others are on the way.  This summer, Cornell Cooperative Extension will offer training for people who want to help stop the spread of these problem plants.   The volunteer program is called the W2O Adopt-A-Shoreline program.  The premise behind the program is that lots of trained eyes can spot new invaders early on, when inexpensive controls are possible.  If you or someone you know would like to learn more about volunteering, please contact Kelly Somerlot at 315 424-9485 / ext 230 or by e-mail

Oneida Lake Watershed Local Law Program

The Oneida Lake Watershed Management Strategy contains advice for the reduction of nonpoint source pollution entering Oneida Lake. Building on these recommendations, the CNY RPDB is using NYS Department of State funds to assess the adequacy of local laws and municipal controls for protecting water quality in watershed communities. Contact Benjamin Manton at 422-8276 for additional information. 

Oneida Lake Agriculture Program

The Oneida Lake Watershed Agricultural Program was initially developed in 2000. Joann Burke, an Agriculture Specialist with the Madison County SWCD, works to reduce agricultural runoff throughout the five-county watershed. She is also responsible for education and outreach, Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) farm prioritization, and writing and administering grants for implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs). The BMPs are designed to reduce nutrient and sediment loading to Oneida Lake and its tributaries. For additional information, contact Joann at (315) 824-9849. 

Keeping Soil in its Place

Erosion is a priority issue of concern throughout the southern portion of the Oneida Lake watershed. A grant awarded to the CNY RPDB from the Great Lakes Commission is being used to reduce the flow of soil, nutrients and other by-products of erosion to Oneida Lake and its tributaries. The CNY RPDB subcontracted with the Madison County SWCD to manage a streambank stabilization project along Oneida Creek. The CNY RPDB is also working on educational literature for homeowners and is planning to collect aerial photography of the watershed this spring.  For additional information, contact Steve Lorraine at the Madison County SWCD, 824-9849.

Volunteers Monitor Local Streams

Three well developed programs are available to high school students and adults interested in monitoring the water quality of Central New York streams: Project Watershed in Onondaga and Cortland counties (18 schools), Project Oneida Lake Watershed in Madison and Oneida counties (5 schools), and the Select-A-Stream Adult Program (6 teams) in Onondaga County. These programs are all managed and maintained by volunteers dedicated to water quality, watershed stewardship, and environmental education. For information, contact Bill Legg at 677-5194, Norm Webber at 697-3377, or Les Monostory at 637-6735, 

Stay Informed About Oneida Lake and its Watershed

The Oneida Lake Watershed Advisory Council works with the CNY RPDB to oversee projects that restore and protect water resources throughout the Lake and its five-county watershed. The Council Board of Directors consists of representatives from counties, municipalities, and stakeholder groups. Board meetings, often with special guest speakers, are held on the 4th Tuesday of the month and the public is welcome to attend. Board members are dedicated to the protection and restoration of a multiple-use lake and watershed that sustains healthy ground and surface water, fisheries, aesthetic values, cultural resources, economic vitality, wildlife habitat, and water based recreation.  The next board meeting is scheduled for March 28th. For additional information about the Advisory Council or if you would like to schedule a PowerPoint presentation about local water resources for your municipal board, please contact Board President Chris Gray at 349-8322 or or Watershed Coordinator Anne Saltman, CNY RPDB at 422-8276 or




























“Watershed Connections”, produced with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is distributed electronically and in hard copy format to agencies, organizations, and municipalities throughout the Oneida Lake watershed. Newsletters are compiled on a quarterly or as-needed basis and contain information about interesting water resource activities throughout the region. To add your name to our e-mail list or to submit news items, please contact Anne Saltman, CNY RPDB, 126 N. Salina Street, Suite 200, Syracuse, NY 13202 or

Although the information in this document has been funded wholly or in part by the U.S. EPA under assistance agreement X-97281200-0 to CNY RPDB, it has not gone through the Agency's publications review process and, therefore, may not necessarily reflect the views of the Agency and no official endorsement should be inferred.

Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board
126 N. Salina Street, Suite 200
Syracuse NY 13202     (315) 422-8276