Revised 2/01/01

Cayuga Lake Preliminary Watershed Characterization, September 2000

The Cayuga Lake Preliminary Watershed Characterization Report has two purposes: (1) describe the current understanding of the state of the watershed; and (2) describe the history and status of the watershed management planning process.

The Cayuga Lake Watershed Management Plan process began in 1998 with several short-term goals. These goals included the following:

Develop a Preliminary Watershed Characterization to provide the basis for the understanding of the state of the watershed

Develop an intermunicipal organization which can bring all municipal governments within the watershed together, to work together

Foster greater awareness and understanding about the Cayuga Lake Watershed

Involve the citizens of the watershed in the development of Watershed Characterization and Watershed Management Plan

It is therefore the purpose of this Preliminary Watershed Characterization to both report on the progress of the process and the state of the understanding of the watershed. The "Preliminary" refers to the fact that much more scientific and technical work can and should be done to characterize and coordinate the scientific work regarding the watershed. The process has included watershed information and data collection, synthesis, preliminary analysis, and findings, including the identification of information and data gaps.  It is these gaps that when filled can move the Characterization from "Preliminary" to "Comprehensive".   The process has also included education, public participation and the development of a structure for watershed-wide and intermunicipal cooperation. Within this document these two components can be separated into the technical portion and the description of the process.

The technical portion of this document is embodied in Chapters 2 through 6, which include the following categories:

General Watershed Description


Potential Sources of Contamination

Programmatic and Regulatory Environment

Subwatershed Description

Watershed and Subwatershed Technical Findings

The technical portion of this document provides an understanding of the watershed and not necessarily the state of the watershed. It is meant to be a living document that provides a compendium of current data and information related to the Cayuga Lake Watershed that has been synthesized and analyzed to provide findings, guidance and identification of information gaps. Hopefully, as the data and information gaps are filled, a true state of the watershed will emerge.

The description of the process is embodied in Chapters 1, 7, and 8, which include the following categories:

Project Background

Public Perceptions in the Watershed

Watershed Education

Interim Recommendations

The description of the process gives a state of understanding of the watershed management plan process and the work that has been accomplished toward that end. This is a constantly evolving process that ultimately leads to a watershed management plan.

It is important to point out that within the Preliminary Watershed Characterization, the technical component and description of the process are interrelated. The technical component helps to drive awareness, and both affects and is affected by public perceptions and participation. The technical component begins to establish the existing state of the watershed. The description of the process helps to establish the desired state of the watershed. Together, the science embodied in technical component and the public participation embodied in the description of the process, can develop the goals, objectives and strategies to move from the existing state to the desired state of the watershed.

Cayuga Lake Preliminary Watershed Characterization (exit this site)


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CLW IO 2004