The Army Corps of Engineers has approved federal wetland permits, finally enabling the Owasco Flats Wetlands Restoration project to get underway nearly after a decade after it was first proposed.
Senator Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday with the final approval secured, work can now enter the bidding phase. Schumer said Phase 1 of the proposed project was previously approved and funded by the state, but a federal wetland permit from the Corps was needed for the project to commence.
The project will reduce toxins in the lake by filtering the unwanted nutrients and sediment that cause the harmful algal blooms through dug basins and vegetation before the water enters the lake. Floodplains will be restored, which will lessen damage from heavy rains like we experienced in July.
Cayuga County environmental engineer Bruce Natale tells Finger Lakes News Radio they’re hoping to break ground in October, with most of the work on Phase 1 happening in 2018.
He adds the project could have a near-immediate impact.
Natale says while it’s good to finally get to this point, there is still a lot of work to be done by county staff before work on the project can get underway.