Owasco Watershed Lake Association (OWLA) Fall Update

Written by Rick Nelson

Protecting and Restoring the Health of Owasco Lake:

Dr Adam Effler, Executive Director of the Owasco Lake Watershed Management Council (OLWMC), will provide an introduction to the OLWMC and details about current watershed initiatives, recruitment, and public outreach activities on Wednesday November 6, 2019 at 7 PM at the Springside Inn.   Free admittance.  Public is welcome.

Nutrient and Sediment Control projects:

1) Directing the remaining funds from our 2015 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation grant to cost share with the Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation District (CCSWCD) and the local property owner,  the CCSWCD crew’s implementation is progressing on several important erosion control measures along the lower section of Veness Brook.    The Veness Brook watershed provides the fourth largest inflow into Owasco Lake.

2) Also, in concert with the CCSWCD, OWLA has pledged $50,000 to provide funding for hydroseeding and rock lining for many miles of public roadside ditches.  Often, watershed municipalities do not possess the funds to hydroseed and stabilize their ditches –  necessary after their periodic scraping, clean out procedures.  Roadside ditches are estimated to contribute up to 22% of the nutrients and sediment entering our waterbodies.   OWLA’s fundraising is currently at $45,000 and the CCSWCD has treated several miles of ditches.

3) Additional fundraising is currently being solicited from various private foundations to hopefully provide funds for other high priority areas.   Utilizing the Owasco Lake Watershed Inspection and Protection Division (OLWIPD) staff’s familiarity with the landscape to locate these high erosion locations and the OLWIPD’s expertise for appropriate remedies, planning is underway to collect the needed design and cost estimates along with the adjoining property owner(s)’ cost-sharing agreements.  Cost sharing is a vital ingredient to accomplish these joint projects.  If you think your fire lane ditch or nearby stream that flows into Owasco Lake needs erosion control, contact the OLWIPD at or the CCSWCD at 315-252-4171.

4) We want to thank Fox Toyota and Toyota National for their 2016 joint donation that allowed us (with cost sharing), under the supervision of the OLWIPD, to stabilize two fire lane ditches, to rebuild one fire lane culvert, to help purchase an emergency response trailer for the OLWIPD, and to provide the initial matching funds for the CCSWCD’s current ditch program.    All of these individual and planned future measures will add up to better water quality for us all.