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Owasco Lake groups ready to take algal bloom project requests to Albany

The array of agencies and groups that work to protect Owasco Lake's water quality have narrowed down five projects to lobby for funding from Albany out of a $65 million pot unveiled last summer dedicated for projects mitigating harmful algal blooms.

The Owasco Lake Watershed Management Council Tuesday unveiled the five priority projects they and other lake advocacy groups have decided on out of numerous actions recommended in a state-developed plan.

Owasco Lake was one of 12 lakes across the state last summer to receive a Harmful Algal Bloom Action Plan. Each plan detailed a variety of possible projects for their respective lakes, with funding coming from an accompanying $65 million fund.

However, officials were taken aback when it was announced that the funding would be released on a competitive basis, meaning it would be impossible for each lake to have every recommended project implemented.

With that in mind, Owasco Lake groups including the council, the Owasco Watershed Lake Association, the Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency, and more decided to hone in on the projects that would be most likely to receive funding while also delivering the most bang for their buck.

The projects unveiled Tuesday represent a total request of $1.83 million, that officials, included management council Chair Ed Wagner, said they will present to state representatives to lobby for funding.

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