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$500K+ grant aims to enhance water quality in Seneca Lake Watershed

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The Yates County Soil and Water Conservation District has been awarded $505,770 by the state, targeted to benefit 11 farms within the Seneca Lake Watershed. This grant is a component of a $13.8 million fund allocated to 33 different projects throughout the state under the State’s Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program. The intention behind these funds is to support agricultural water quality conservation projects that will improve water quality in priority watersheds, assist 80 farms, and provide overarching environmental protection.

This specific funding will be directed towards the implementation of various Best Management Practice Systems aimed at enhancing water quality in Seneca Lake. The outlined projects range from integrated pest management on vineyards and erosion and sediment control on croplands to farmstead water management and stream corridor management practices, such as stream buffers. These initiatives are pivotal in the long-term preservation of the lake, reducing conditions conducive to Harmful Algal Blooms, and are in line with the state-approved Nine Element Watershed Management Plan for Seneca Lake.

For nearly three decades, New York State has been backing projects across over 600 different watersheds, supporting over 1,000 prescribed rotational grazing systems and a host of best management practices designed to promote soil health and protect water resources from livestock contamination. These practices also equip participating farms with resilience against extreme weather conditions driven by climate change.