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NYS approves Canandaigua Lake water quality improvement plan

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  • Staff Report 

New York State officials have announced the approval of an enhanced plan to manage phosphorus levels and improve water quality in Canandaigua Lake.

The “Canandaigua Lake Watershed Nine Element Plan for Enhanced Phosphorus Management,” jointly approved by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Department of State (DOS), aims to restore and protect the lake’s water quality, combating issues like harmful algal blooms (HABs) that have troubled the area in recent years.

The plan, which follows the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) guidelines, is set to reduce phosphorus inputs to the lake by implementing a series of strategic, community-supported projects. These efforts are a result of collaborative work led by the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council (CLWC) and involve numerous partners, including local conservation districts, the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Commission, associations, Cornell University, and Ecologic LLC. With the finalized plan now available, local efforts to curb pollution in Canandaigua Lake can utilize state and federal grants to further their initiatives.

State support for the plan comes from New York’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), which maintains a $400 million budget as part of Governor Hochul’s 2023-24 State Budget, the highest in the program’s history. The fund supports a wide array of environmental projects, emphasizing the state’s leadership in water resource protection. This plan signifies New York’s ongoing commitment to combatting environmental challenges such as HABs and safeguarding its waterbodies for future generations.