Crystal clear Skaneateles Lake at Lourdes Camp on the east side
Image by Camille Marcotte

Skaneateles Lake provides drinking water for 200,000 residents.

HAB in Skaneateles Lake
Image by Nigel Moll

Avoid Harmful Algal Blooms (above) as they produce toxins harmful to humans and pets

Glass of water

There are no treatments for private water intakes that can remove the toxins found in HABs

city water supply

Public water supply: supplier is required to treat, disinfect, and monitor water for users

Skaneateles Watershed Education Program

CCE programming in the Skaneateles watershed brings workshops, trainings, educational materials, volunteer and stewardship opportunities, and updates related to water quality protection to the watershed community.

The Skaneateles Watershed Education Program works to protect the water quality of Skaneateles Lake, the primary drinking water for 200,000 residents. The City of Syracuse has funded this program since 1996. 

The Skaneateles Watershed Education Program works to:

  • reduce non-point source pollution in the watershed
  • improve watershed health and water quality
  • connect residents, homeowners, farmers, landowners, and municipal officials with information and opportunities to implement evidence-based best practices for protecting water quality
  • fulfill the City of Syracuse’s filtration avoidance waiver

Recent Programs:

Road Salt Impacts on Water Quality: A Case Study of Mirror Lake - February 1st, 2022

With all the snow the Finger Lakes experiences, our roads are often heavily salted to keep them clear from snow and ice. However, the accumulation of salt in our waterbodies can have unintended consequences for water quality. Dr. Brendan Wiltse spoke about his research on road salt in Adirondack lakes, with a focus on Mirror Lake as a case study of road salt impacts.

Stream Systems 101 for Skaneateles - October 13th, 2021

Skaneateles Lake has about 150 distinct watercourses that flow into the lake, all of which play a role in the lake's water quality. Homeowners and other stakeholders are invited to learn the basics of how stream systems function and the role stream health plays in water quality of the lake. Presented by Carl Schwartz, Partners for Fish and Wildlife Coordinator, US Fish and Wildlife. 

Transitioning Your Lawn to a Meadow - July 14th, 2021

This webinar discussed how land conservation and stewardship can help protect water quality, ensuring clean drinking water is available for future generations. Learn more about ways to steward your land to protect water quality, promote birds, bees, butterflies and other beneficial wildlife, specifically the benefits of transitioning your lawn or a portion of your lawn to a more natural, meadow landscape. Presented by Cornell Cooperative Extension Onondaga County in collaboration with Sam Quinn from the SUNY ESF Restoration Science Center. 

Lake Friendly Living Awareness Week - May 2nd - May 8th, 2021

Click here to view the webpage with links to webinar recordings, including to CCE Onondaga Water and Ecology Educator Camille Marcotte's presentation on Landscaping for Shorelines. 

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Planning and Management in Skaneateles - March 1st, 2021

Click here to view the recording of the webinar on YouTube 

Click here to view the PowerPoint presentation from the NYS Hemlock Initiative

Click here to view the PowerPoint presentation from the Skaneateles Lake Association

Landscaping for Shorelines Webinar - October 14th, 2020

This webinar provided tips for landscaping shorelines to prevent erosion and protect water quality, including examples of native species that are low maintenance, resilient, and ecologically valuable.

Click here to view the Landscaping for Shorelines presentation on Youtube

Stewardship in Skaneateles Webinar - September 29th, 2020

This virtual event featured presentations from Finger Lakes Land Trust, CNY Land Trust and SUNY ESF related to conservation and stewardship in the Skaneateles Lake watershed. 

  • Click here to view the presentations on Youtube
    • Timestamps
    • 4:40 - Conservation Easements and Finger Lakes Land Trust’s Skaneateles Projects (Max Heitner, Finger Lakes Land Trust) 
    • 52:00 - Central New York Land Trust’s Skaneateles Projects and Watershed Education Center (Albert Joerger, CNY Land Trust) 
    • 1:35:08 - Lawn to Meadow Restoration Program (Sam Quinn, SUNY ESF)

Last updated February 3, 2022