Now that the Emerald Ash Borer has been confirmed in Onondaga County, local governments are trying to find the best strategy to deal with the invasive pests that will ultimately kill all the ash trees in the area. One of the county's biggest challenges lies in one of the busiest public green spaces in central New York, at Onondaga Lake Park.
The story of Onondaga Lake, once called the most polluted lake in the nation, will be told in a major interactive exhibit at the New York State Fair this year.
"We no longer have to look at it and be embarrassed, or discuss what we are going to do. Now we can look back at where we have been and where we are going," said Onondaga County Deputy Executive Matt Millea.
Dredging equipment sits on Onondaga Lake this summer.
Even though dredging and capping operations to clean up contamination in Onondaga Lake is in its early stages, a scientist consulting on the project says mercury levels are dropping better than expected.
There's a new view of Onondaga Lake. Honeywell has opened a new Onondaga Lake Visitors Center, right next to the company's massive project that's dredging and capping two million cubic yards of contaminated lake soil. Honeywell hopes it can change perceptions of a lake, that for decades has been so dirty, people didn't want to go near it.
Before deciding what the Onondaga Lake shoreline should look like in the future, FOCUS, is looking at what the community has wanted in the past. The community group that is creating a roadmap for the future of the polluted lake's shore, has issued a preliminary report documenting 84 years of studies of the lake.
Onondaga County lawmakers are considering the possibility of a smoking ban in county parks and the perimeter of county facilities. But an initial proposal from the county executive's office needs to be whittled down before lawmakers will agree to it.
Onondaga Lake in Syracuse, N.Y., has often been called the most polluted lake in America. It was hammered by a one-two punch: raw and partially treated sewage from the city and its suburbs, and a century's worth of industrial dumping. But now the final stage in a $1 billion cleanup is about to begin.
Standing in his office amid stacks of reports, scientist Steve Effler glances at an old front-page headline of the Syracuse Herald-Journal: "Divers find goo in Onondaga Lake."
The Onondaga Nation is not happy with the breadth of the Honeywell Corporation's plan to dredge and cap polluted sediment at the bottom of Onondaga Lake.
This $451 million plan will dredge an estimated two million cubic yards of toxic material from 185 acres out of the 3,000-acre lake bottom, and cap 14-percent of the lake bottom, to keep toxic chemicals underground.