Central NY Land Trust receives $6.442 million grant to protect Skaneateles Lake watershed

The Central New York Land Trust is receiving a $6.442 million state grant, the largest in its history.

In a press release, the land trust said the grant will provide the resources needed to acquire and protect significant tracts of land in the Skaneateles Lake watershed to implement a series of mitigation measures.

Awarded by the state of New York under Round XI of the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) competitive process, the $6.4 million grant will enable the Central New York Land Trust to protect and improve water quality in the Skaneateles Lake watershed. This award will help protect and restore over 380 acres in the Skaneateles watershed. It will help mitigate soil erosion and stormwater runoff of sediment and nutrients into Skaneateles Lake, the primary drinking water supply for the city of Syracuse.

“We are deeply gratified by Governor Hochul’s historic and far-sighted investment in protecting the Skaneateles Lake watershed,” said land trust president and CEO Albert Joerger in the release. “This investment acknowledges not only the critical role of this watershed in the environmental and economic vitality of the region, but also the important role of a land trust— the Central New York Land Trust in particular — in serving the public good by safeguarding this treasured jewel in our region.”

The REDC grant is not only the largest grant in the 50-year history of the land trust, but will also trigger protection for the greatest number of acres ever as part of a single project in the organization’s history.

The Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) grant program is administered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and funds projects that directly address documented water quality impairments or protect a drinking water source. Supported in part by the State’s Environmental Protection Fund, WQIP projects include municipal wastewater treatment upgrades, non-agricultural nonpoint source abatement and control, land acquisition projects for source water protection, salt storage construction, aquatic connectivity restoration, and marine habitat restoration.

The WQIP grant awarded to the Central New York Land Trust represents both the 10th largest WQIP grant throughout the state of New York as well as the largest such grant to a non-profit organization anywhere in the state.

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