Politicians and scientists from around Central New York gathered Monday to mark a major milestone in the restoration of Onondaga Lake. Honeywell, which has been overseeing the lake’s restoration, announced that the dredging of the lake has been completed one year ahead of schedule.
This comes after decades of concern regarding contamination levels in the lake. SUNY-ESF president Doctor Quentin Wheeler put the importance of the newly dredged lake in perspective:
The Onondaga Lake restoration is not only benefiting Central New Yorkers, but it is also bringing the lake into the national spotlight, as County Executive Joanie Mahoney has discovered through her travels:
In addition to the ecological benefits, state officials say there has also been a great local economic impact brought on by the lake restoration project. According to Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli, 85 percent of the Onondaga Lake restoration workers are Central New Yorkers. Magnarelli called it a model for other projects in the area.
These workers will continue to be employed through 2016 as Honeywell begins work on the next two phases of the restoration project, capping and habitat restoration. When complete, Honeywell will continue to monitor the lake for at least the next 30 years.