WGVA 106.3FM 1240AMMix 98.5101.7 The WallWFLR Finger Lakes Country Classic Hits 99.3The Lake 100.1/104.5 WAUB 96.3FM 1590AM

$4.5M in Grants Coming to Protect 4 FLX Watersheds


$4,464,000 in grant funding is going to protect drinking water quality at four Finger Lakes.

The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) announced it will use the funds for land acquisition and restoration projects in the Keuka, Owasco, Seneca, and Skaneateles Lake Watersheds.

“These grants will really make a difference,” FLLT Executive Director Andrew Zepp said in a statement.“ The health of our lakes depends on the health of our watersheds. This funding will allow us to secure sensitive lands where we can implement restoration projects to ensure water quality.”

In the Skaneateles Lake Watershed, $1.4 million will be used to acquire and restore land along Shotwell Brook, a tributary that enters the lake near the City of Syracuse’s drinking water intake.

$1.2 million will go to work in the Owasco Lake Watershed with the remaining $1.8 million going to the Keuka and Seneca Lake Watersheds.

Speaking with Finger Lakes News Radio, Zepp said the next step for the Keuka, Owasco, and Senenca areas is to reach out to landowners and identify prospective restoration projects to bring to the state for approval.

Restoration projects include seeing land at key tributaries restored to filter runoff before it enters the waterbody and creating buffer zones.

He added that the identification, acquisition, and approval processes could take over a year to finalize. FLLT will provide updates as more information becomes available.

Funding for these watershed projects comes from the New York State Water Quality Improvement Program.

Through conservation easements, legal agreements limiting future land development while allowing private ownership of the land, the FLLT is able to protect ecologically important land throughout the Finger Lakes. To date, the land trust has protected over 32,000 acres of lakeshore, gorges, forests, and farmland.

The group has conservation easements on 187 properties and owns and manages over 45 nature preserves.

Get the top stories on your radio 24/7 on Finger Lakes News Radio 96.3 and 1590, WAUB and 106.3 and 1240, WGVA, and on Finger Lakes Country, 96.1/96.9/101.9/1570 WFLR.