Honeywell has finished implementing New York State’s cleanup plan for Onondaga Lake using technical excellence and innovative approaches. On the lake shore and along its tributaries, about 90 acres of wetlands have been restored and about 1.1 million native plants are being planted.
Onondaga Lake is well on its way to becoming a sustainable ecosystem for generations to come. Through thoughtful planning and input from local scientists, wetland ecologists, and the community, as well as government oversight, dynamic and diverse wetlands are becoming the cornerstone of a renewed watershed.
Today, the water quality in Onondaga Lake is the best it’s been in more than 100 years. A green corridor now extends from the restored areas to the lake, providing a diverse home for wildlife. More than 250 wildlife species, some that have not been seen in decades, are now calling these areas home, and more than 120 unique bird species have been identified in and around Onondaga Lake, a priority Audubon Important Bird Area. Bird species on New York State’s threatened list, including pied-billed grebe, northern harrier, and bald eagle, have returned to the re-established wetlands.
Monitoring and maintenance will continue for years to come to ensure vegetation is established and returning wildlife is documented. Monitoring also helps identify invasive species so they can be removed.
In addition to the cleanup, in April 2017, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced a plan for 20 new projects to restore and protect wildlife habitat and water quality, and increase recreational opportunities.
The Onondaga Lake Cleanup Plan was issued in 2005 by DEC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The cleanup, which was completed in 2016, included dredging 2.2 million cubic yards of lake material and capping 475 acres of lake bottom. The cap, which consists of natural materials, provides a new, clean lake bottom and a new habitat layer to promote underwater vegetation growth and fish spawning.
For more information on the Onondaga Lake cleanup, visit www.lakecleanup.com.
View photographs of the Onondaga Lake cleanup.