Environmental stewards The Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps seeks to inspire future stewards of Onondaga Lake and its watershed through a hands-on, experience-based program that offers citizens and organizations the opportunity to participate in activities to help restore and sustain the lake, and its value as an important bird area
Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps
A Hub of activity Additionally, prior to the start of dredging, Honeywell built the Onondaga Lake Visitors Center near the shoreline to provide a location for the public to learn about, and engage with, the restoration team and their activities. Several public education and habitat restoration initiatives were conducted using the Center as a hub of activity.
Lakeview Amphitheater In parallel to the restoration work, the Lakeview Amphitheater was constructed adjacent to the newly restored shoreline. Portions of the shoreline that were used as equipment staging areas will be converted into a public boat launch, and a walking and biking trail that will be part of a trail system that encircles the entirety of Onondaga Lake, extending more than 11 miles.
Since the formation of the Corps in summer 2012, more than 780 volunteers have become environmental stewards and Corps members.
Case kindly provided by Honeywell
Onondaga Lake is a 4.6-square-mile (3,000 acre) urban lake located in Syracuse, New York, USA. A legacy of industrialization and municipal development since the late nineteenth century resulted in impaired water quality and contamination of lake sediments.
The Onondaga Lake Cleanup
Geddes Brook Wetlands Before and After Remediation
The clean up combined dredging and capping with long-term habitat restoration, leading to an environmentally protective solution. Capping was completed in December 2016. Habitat restoration is a major focus of the remedy and restoration. About 90 acres of wetlands along the lakeshore and the lake’s tributaries have been improved. More than 250 species of fish, birds, and other wildlife have returned to restored areas. Threatened bird species in New York State, including the bald eagle, pied-billed grebe, and northern harrier, have been observed in restored areas near the lake.
Contribution to the Well-being of People and Communities A multifaceted public outreach and engagement program has been an integral part of the Onondaga Lake restoration. Honeywell and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) created the Community Participation Working Group in 2009. The group operates as an independent panel of community stakeholders to inform, discuss, and offer opportunities for community involvement and input throughout all phases of the restoration. Community priorities included:
• Providing deep water near shore for improved fishing access • Increasing the size and diversity of shoreline wetlands • Creating conditions suitable for a variety of native species • Discouraging the establishment of invasive species • Promoting pike spawning in adjacent wetland areas • Establishing habitats that were currently lacking in the lake, like floating aquatic plants