The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Department of State (DOS) have announced the joint agency approval of the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Nine Element Plan for Enhanced Phosphorus Management, a plan to advance efforts to restore and protect the water quality of Canandaigua Lake and its watershed.
In recent years, Canandaigua Lake has experienced water quality challenges, including harmful algal blooms associated with the availability and transport of phosphorus, a key nutrient for plants and algae. Land use, climate change, and natural processes across the watershed can impact the lake’s phosphorus levels.
DEC and DOS guided and approved the plan, which they say is consistent with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s framework for watershed-based plans consisting of nine key elements for waterbody protection and stakeholder engagement.
Canandaigua Lake is the fourth largest of the Finger Lakes. The City of Canandaigua is located at the northern end of the lake and the village of Naples is several miles south of the southern end. It is the westernmost of the major Finger Lakes.
The Lake is 15.5 miles long, 1.5 miles wide, and has a shoreline of about 36 miles. About half of the surrounding land is in forest, but most of the remainder is under cultivation.
The lake is the sole source of drinking water for the town and city of Canandaigua, in addition to serving the communities of Rushville, Newark, Canandaigua, Palmyra, and Gorham township as their main public supplier of water.
The final approved plan is posted on DEC’s Clean Water Plan webpage.
Photo of Canandaigua Lake by wikimedia user Brampton Cyclist.