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The Inspection and Protection Division staff spend most of their time in the field. To protect water quality in Owasco Lake and its watershed, we perform site inspections, monitor lake and tributary conditions, and conduct visual assessments throughout the watershed.


Watershed Monitoring

The Inspection and Protection Division identifies and monitors areas of concern, including residential drainage issues, residential and commercial construction projects, septic issues, nutrient applications (both agricultural and non-agricultural), and streambank erosion.

Water Sampling

The Inspection and Protection Division collaborates with the Owasco Watershed Lake Association (OWLA) and the Cayuga County Department of Planning & Economic Development to collect water samples from pertinent tributaries feeding into Owasco Lake, which are sent to local laboratories for testing.

Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Monitoring


In support of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation's NYHABS web application, members of the Inspection and Protection Division assist by visually assessing the presence of potential blooms, and submitting reports to the DEC for review.  The NYSDEC HABs mapper is available online HERE.  You can report a bloom with photos yourself through the NYSDEC Suspicious Algal Bloom Report Form HERE.

Other Projects


The Inspection and Protection Division was fortunate to receive funding for two innovative projects that began in 2016. These initiatives were implemented in conjunction with Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation District (CCSWCD) and watershed municipalities.

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