Work Completed by Honeywell Includes Sustainable Remediation, Restored Habitat, Returning Wildlife, and Recreational Opportunities
A restored Nine Mile Creek was the setting for Central New Yorkers as they explored the beauty of the waterway in canoes and kayaks on Saturday, August 19. Nine Mile Creek, which is open to the public for recreation, is a thriving ecosystem and part of a green corridor connecting Onondaga Lake to upland areas as a result of Honeywell’s remediation and restoration work.
“The work at Nine Mile Creek is providing the Central New York paddling community with an opportunity I used to dream about 25 years ago,” said Fred Miller, founder and president of the Nine Mile Creek Conservation Council. “Today, you can paddle a water trail that begins in the Village of Camillus, travel through a restored Nine Mile Creek, and continue on to Onondaga Lake – it’s exquisite.”
The restoration of Nine Mile Creek included restoring forested wetlands, enhancing stream conditions for fish spawning and migration, and improving habitat along the creek. Thirty acres have been transformed into diverse new habitat, a healthier creek, and improved recreational access. Nine Mile Creek is now home to more than 145 fish and wildlife species, including beaver, muskrat, bald eagle, and northern pike. The area is playing a significant role in creating a healthy Onondaga Lake watershed and a sustainable ecosystem.
“Habitat provides the food, shelter, and space for fish, birds, mammals, and other organisms to survive and flourish,” said Anchor QEA Principal Scientist Ryan Davis, Ph.D. “Habitat re-establishment is an integral component of the Onondaga Lake cleanup.”
The event was hosted by the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps and the Nine Mile Creek Conservation Council. During the paddle, participants became citizen scientists as they learned about the enhanced wetlands at Nine Mile Creek, Geddes Brook, and Onondaga Lake and how they are supporting the Onondaga Lake watershed and its value as an Important Bird Area. Habitat experts from Montezuma Audubon Center, Onondaga Audubon Society, Parsons, Anchor QEA, and Honeywell shared their expertise and discussed enhancements made to Nine Mile Creek.
“Habitat restoration is key to a healthy Onondaga Lake,” said Honeywell Syracuse Program Director John McAuliffe. “Honeywell has created sustainable habitat for wildlife and is bringing to life the community’s vision for increased recreational activities in and around the lake.”
Nine Mile Creek is one of the primary tributaries of Onondaga Lake, flowing north and east through Camillus and entering Onondaga Lake as it passes under the Onondaga County West Shore Trail extension. The remediation of Nine Mile Creek was performed under the oversight of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Department of Health, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
On the shores of Onondaga Lake and along the lake’s tributaries, Honeywell has improved 87 acres of wetlands and is planting about 1.1 million native plants, shrubs, and trees. To date, nearly 750,000 shrubs and trees have been planted.
For more information on the Onondaga Lake cleanup, please visit www.lakecleanup.com.