Onondaga Lake Dredging and Capping Completed; Community’s Vision of a Clean Onondaga Lake is Becoming a Reality. Habitat Restoration Continues.
Honeywell has completed the dredging and capping of Onondaga Lake. The result of more than two decades and millions of hours of intensive effort, the work was completed through an unwavering focus on sound science, technical excellence, collaboration, community engagement, health and safety, and sustainable practices. Habitat restoration, a major focus of the cleanup, continues into 2017, as does Honeywell’s commitment to encouraging community volunteers to become environmental stewards. Hundreds of Central New York scientists, engineers, and skilled craft laborers are working with Honeywell, achieving significant progress implementing lake improvement plans under the jurisdiction of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
Protection of the public’s health and safety is an important part of every stage of the work to restore Onondaga Lake. Community Health and Safety Plans are reviewed by DEC and the New York State Department of Health. Air and odor monitoring results are available here.
Dredging and capping are critical components of the lake cleanup plan, which is based on sound science and incorporates input from top national and local scientists, engineers, experts in the field, and community members, who have participated in a series of public meetings that have been held since 2004. Significant upgrades made by Onondaga County to its municipal wastewater treatment system plus the construction of an underground barrier wall, which intercepts contaminated groundwater from old industrial sites from reaching the lake, have improved lake water quality to the best in 100 years.
Progress continues at other sites near the lake. At Geddes Brook 21 acres of land have been transformed into a diverse new habitat for wildlife. The improved Geddes Brook is part of a green corridor connecting habitat from Onondaga Lake to upland sites. More than 250 species of fish, birds, and other wildlife have already returned to restored habitat near the lake.
Wetlands around the old LCP Chemicals site in Geddes are filled with more than 12,000 native trees and plants that are attracting wildlife.
Work to remediate forested wetlands, enhance stream conditions for fish spawning and migration, and improve habitat along the lower portion of Nine Mile Creek began in 2012 and was completed in 2014.
The Western Shoreline, located west of the Onondaga Lake Visitors Center in Geddes, is being covered and vegetated, and wetlands are being established in low-lying areas. Approximately 70,000 native plants have been planted in 30 acres to improve habitat. Approximately ten acres of wetlands have been created or restored along the shoreline to support shorebird and amphibian habitats.