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Onondaga Lake Boat Tour 2007

ESF scientists and area leaders come together

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Nearly 100 people boarded the Emita II at Dutchman’s Landing in Liverpool, NY for ESF’s third tour of Onondaga Lake, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2007 to view progress being made on restoring the lake.

Dr. Neil Ringler, dean of research, provided an update on Onondaga Lake’s improving fishery. During his presentation, ESF students pulled alongside the Emita II in a research boat to display fish netted that day. Among the varieties, some very large walleye pike, catfish and pan fish.

Dr. Donald Leopold, chair of the Department of Environmental Biology, explained the work being done to restore the lake’s inland salt marshes to help keep contaminants isolated in the Solvay Settling Basins.

John McAuliffe of Honeywell International showed off the new retaining wall they’ve constructed to prevent groundwater entry and explained how their new wastewater treatment plant is working. He also outlined the preparations being made for lake dredging.

Randy Ott of the Onondaga County Department of Water Environment Protection said expansion and upgrades of the storm water drainage system are on target to meet the necessary deadlines.

And, Dr. Richard Smardon, chair of the Department of Environmental Studies, briefed the group on efforts to restore Onondaga Creek, a major lake tributary that runs through the heart of the city of Syracuse.

Overall, ESF President Neil Murphy pointed out, about $1 billion is being invested in research and remediation to clean up Onondaga Lake and about half of that amount has been spent so far.