On The Water

Be aware how your actions can impact water quality.


Divers searching for Asian clams in Owasco Lake

Invasive Species

Invasive species are plants or animals that are not native to a given area and have characteristics that can harm the environment, the economy, or even human health. Characteristics of invasive species can include the ability to establish easily, produce a high number of offspring, grow and proliferate quickly, disperse over a wide area, persist without cultivation and other advantages over native species.  For more information, visit our Issues page.

The best way to control invasive species is to learn about them and prevent their initial establishment. The Finger Lakes Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (FL-PRISM) provides coordinated education, detection, prevention and control measures to seventeen counties in the Finger Lakes Region.


Water chestnut


Whether boating, birding, biking, or hiking – please take care to avoid carrying any “hitchhiking” plants or animals with you.

What you can do

Report an Invasive Species

Contact the Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency’s Invasive Species Working Group at wqma@cayugacounty.us or by phone at 315-253-1107.

Report it to iMapInvasives, which is New York State’s on-line invasive species database and mapping tool. Review the user manual to learn how to utilize iMapInvasives features.

Get involved with Citizen Science

The Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP) is a volunteer lake monitoring and education program that is managed by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and New York State Federation of Lake Associations (NYSFOLA). CSLAP volunteers collect valuable lake water quality data following standard methods to evaluate nutrient enrichment, aquatic weed and algae growth, and the recreational quality of their lakes.

There are CSLAP programs for Cayuga Lake, Owasco Lake, Skaneateles Lake, Lake Como and Duck Lake. To find out more information on these lakes’ CSLAP programs, contact the corresponding lake association.

Protect the Water While Boating

  • Boaters can play a part in protecting Cayuga County waterbodies. To protect the water while boating:
  • Use eco-friendly boat cleaning products and use only on land when possible.
  • Dispose of your sewage at pump-out facilities that are available for recreational boater use.
  • Clean, drain and dry watercraft, gear and equipment after each use to prevent the spread of invasive species.
  • Carefully and safely fuel your boat.
  • Dispose of all trash on land in proper containers.
  • Watch your wake since it can cause shoreline erosion.
  • Follow all laws and regulations.

Be on the look-out for water quality issues

While on the water, keep your eyes open for any water quality violations or water quality issues. If you see a problem, report it to us!