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Owasco Lake Owasco Lake

Owasco LakeSize and Location:  Owasco Lake is 10 miles long and 1 mile wide, and is located in Central New York State.  It is one of eleven lakes known as the Finger Lakes.

Why is it important to protect Owasco Lake?

  • Owasco Lake is used as a drinking water supply. 

  • Recreational, residential, agricultural and commercial development around the lake.

  • The area provides a valuable habitat for wildlife.

How is EPA involved?

EPA provides funding and technical support for the study and management of Owasco Lake.  The lake was identified as a line item in EPA's 1995 budget for restoration activities.  Since 1996, funding has been included in EPA's budget for "continuing work on the water quality management plan for watersheds," including Owasco Lake.

What are the Major Environmental Issues Facing the Lake? 

  • Because the watershed area draining into the lake is so large in relation to the area of the lake, the lake is especially vulnerable to sediments resulting from erosion and to pollutant runoff. 
  • The lake is affected by nonpoint source pollution from agriculture (pesticide and fertilizer use, manure production, and sedimentation resulting from poor tillage practices) which can stimulate weed growth.  
  • Fisheries, recreation, and drinking water supplies are affected by fecal coliforms because of agricultural runoff.

Who are the Stakeholders?

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | City of Auburn Exit EPA disclaimer | Town of OwascoExit EPA disclaimer | Cayuga County Health Department Exit EPA disclaimer | Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation District Exit EPA disclaimer


Contact: faber.theresa@epa.gov


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