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Final Watershed Improvement Plans Available

In 2017, our Kettle Lakes were the beneficiaries of the National Fish and Wildlife Fund $50,000 Chesapeake Bay Technical Capacity Grant. In collaboration with Syracuse University’s Environmental Finance Center (EFC-SU), Princeton Hydro and Cortland County Soil & Water, we examined potential harmful stormwater impacts on our kettle lakes and positive remediation for each concern. We hosted two information sessions in Homer and Tully in November, sharing the findings for each lake and possible action steps to address these concerns. An example of one solution shared among several lakes was increasing riparian growth along shorelines to decrease erosion and stream

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ZERO is our Hero!

How are dish washer detergents and lawn fertilizers harming our lakes? They both might contain phosphorous and are now against the law! Buy a bag of fertilizer with ZERO in the middle. Read more

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What is a Kettle Lake?

C-OFOKLA (Click to Enlarge)

C-OFOKLA (Click to Enlarge)

Onondaga and Cortland Counties, are unique and beautiful regions in central New York. One of the defining characteristics is the presence of several kettle-hole or kettle lakes. 

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the area was formed by the advancing and retreating of glacial ice during the last glacial period in North America.  To the west of us, the same glacial process formed the Finger Lakes. The process here, however, caused smaller holes to be formed when huge chunks of ice broke off the glacier. These holes, or “kettles” were then buried by till [1] as the glacier receded. When these ice chunks melted, the depression remained.

Each kettle lake has its own unique properties. Some have natural or created outlets, while others are landlocked. All of these lakes are, however, connected to the surficial aquifer. A surficial aquifer is generally defined by the USGS, as an “unconfined, shallow aquifer system, recharged by rainfall and leakage from surface water bodies.”

The glaciers also formed the Valley Heads Moraine, an area of sand and gravel deposited when the retreating ice paused. The moraine runs east to west and separates the Tully Valley to the north from the Tioughnioga Valley to the south. This moraine also forms the surface water divide for the St. Lawrence River drainage (north) and the Susquehanna River drainage (south).[2]

[1] sediment of various particle sizes deposited by the direct action of ice

[2] Information from USGS