Make a Difference Throughout the Watershed Today:


Take the 'Lake Friendly Living' Pledge to advance a variety of land and water stewardship practices.  This pledge opportunity aligns with 'Lake Friendly Living' Pledges taken throughout the Finger Lakes Region.







Importantly, reducing the use of fertilizers and chemicals on your property can help minimize excess nutrients and pollutants entering our waterways. Nutrients are a leading driver of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs).  We instead recommend that watershed residents explore and start utilizing native grasses and gardens that prosper without the need for fertilizer and chemical additives.


Thank you for your pledge and for your time. The following lawn sign will be delivered to those who take the pledge (and request a sign) to help grow this initiative throughout the Owasco Lake Watershed.



The OLWMC promotes recognition of everyone who is making positives strides while working towards protecting our collective natural resources.  The background colors and shapes of the sign were developed by Kaitlyn Shanahan of the OLWIPD.  The Lake Friendly Living sign logo was shared by the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association in an effort to spread consistent signage and messaging throughout the Finger Lakes Region.  We would also like to thank the Owasco Watershed Lake Association (OWLA) for help with funding the initial production of signs for this pledge program.


Lawn Fertilizer (NYS Nutrient Runoff Law)

Lake Friendly Living Pledges and Endorsements From Municipalities and Agencies


Why is this pledge so important?

  • Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) are produced when cyanobacteria, photosynthetic organisms that live in freshwater, grow out of control due to an excess of nutrients entering the lake.

  • HABs produce toxic compounds that have harmful effects on the public and wildlife such as gastrointestinal illness and liver damage, both of which can be debilitating or fatal. 

  • HABs can be reduced by limiting the amount of nitrates and phosphates entering the Owasco Lake watershed. When homeowners apply fertilizer, they are not only feeding their grass, but the algae and invasive weeds too. Every homeowner's lawn fertilizer within the Owasco Lake Watershed drains to the lake through runoff after rain events.​ 



Consider becoming a part of the solution today and commit to refraining from the use of excessive lawn fertilizers and chemicals and commit to land and water stewardship practices.


​​​​For Reporting Water Quality Concerns:

Did You Know the OLWMC oversees the Owasco Lake Watershed Inspection and Protection Division (OLWIPD)?

  • The monthly inspection report summaries as well as contact and other program information can be found at the OLWIPD's website found here.



Harmful Algal Blooms

Owasco Lake Watershed Rules and Regulations

Project Update

The Owasco Lake Watershed Rules and Regulations (WRR) Update Project is an important water quality initiative being undertaken by the Owasco Lake Watershed Management Council. 

The project goal is to update and revise the 1984 Owasco Lake Watershed Rules and Regulations, through a thoughtful and engaged public participation process resulting in effective and equitable watershed regulations that will help to improve, protect and preserve water quality within Owasco Lake and it’s 205-square mile watershed for the benefit of current and future generations

Members of the OLWMC

Directors of the OLWMC

  • Town Owasco: Ed Wagner

  • Cayuga County: Aileen McNabb-Coleman

  • City of Auburn: Debby McCormick

  • Town of Owasco: Ed Wagner

  • Cayuga County: Aileen McNabb -Coleman

  • City of Auburn: Debby McCormick

  • Town of Niles: Joan Jayne

  • Town of Locke: Thane Benson

  • Town of Scipio: Vivian Cunningham

  • Town of Fleming: Don Oltz

  • Town of Moravia: Terry Baxter

  • Village of Moravia: Gary Mulvaney

  • Village of Groton: Nancy Niswender

  • Town of Summerhill: Charles Ripley

  • Town of Sennett: Tom Gray

The Owasco Lake Watershed Management Council is an inter-municipal 501(c)3 nonprofit development corporation with representation from municipalities throughout the Owasco Lake Watershed.


Office: 315-283-9427

Email: ajpeffler.olwmc@gmail.com