Vision Statement and Watershed Goals

Approved by resolution by the Watershed Advisory Committee on November 18, 2014

Vision Statement

The Owasco Lake Watershed is a functioning, dynamic and healthy ecosystem providing natural, spiritual, economic, recreational, and community benefits to current and future generations.


  • Identify and reduce the adverse water quality impacts from agricultural operations.
  • Identify and reduce nonpoint sources of nutrients, sediment, microorganisms, salts, and other chemicals to Owasco Lake and its tributary streams.
    • Identify model practices that will reduce adverse water quality impacts from roadway maintenance practices such as ditching and application of salt and sand, and support municipal efforts to adopt and implement such practices. 
    • Research ways that new technologies such as innovative septic systems or stormwater treatment systems would improve water quality, and promote their adoption.
    • Minimize the impact of contamination from fuel and other chemicals associated with transportation and storage accidents.
  • Reduce the risk of water-related illnesses associated with using Owasco Lake as a source of drinking water and recreation.
  • Expand environmentally-sound recreational access and tourism (notably at Emerson Park and Owasco Flats).
  • Identify model ordinances that can improve watershed health and sustainability, including smart growth land use practices, and support municipal efforts to adopt and implement these measures in their local codes and practices.
  • Position and sustain the Owasco Lake Watershed Management Council as the central hub for effective collaboration among water resources management professionals, Soil & Water Conservation Districts, elected officials, water purveyors, the Owasco Watershed Lake Association, county Planning & Economic Development and Public Health agencies, and local research institutions.
  • Continue water quality sampling and monitoring programs to track the lake and streams’ response to management actions.
  • Identify and respond to emerging issues including invasive species.
  • Continue to partner with regional and state water resources agencies to address common challenges to the Finger Lakes, such as lake level management, invasive species response, climate change adaptation, and funding for projects that contribute to the vision.
  • Build community awareness of how human activities affect the future of the Owasco Lake Watershed.

Back to Owasco Lake Watershed Management Plan 

The watershed planning effort is funded through a Title 11 Environmental Protection Fund grant from the New York State Department of State.