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Progress in cleaning up Honeoye Lake

A new report pinpoints plans to dramatically reduce the overabundance of phosphorus in Honeoye Lake. Phosphorus — from runoff, erosion and other sources — is a major driver of problems with weeds and algae in Honeoye Lake.

The draft 352-page document by the state Department of Environmental Conservation will be the subject of a public meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, at Honeoye Central School. People are urged to attend to learn more and ask questions. A public comment period on the draft plan runs through Feb. 19.

The plan deals specifically with requirements to significantly reduce the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) of phosphorus in the lake. The draft TMDL requires the reduction of total phosphorus loading to Honeoye Lake by 93 percent.

According to the report, the Honeoye Lake watershed is predominantly forested. A key source of phosphorus to the lake is runoff from the natural forest and grasslands. Erosion control, stabilizing streambanks and enforcing the state’s fertilizer law are among the ways noted to reach the goal.

The plan aligns with a statewide initiative to combat harmful blue-green algae in a list of priority lakes. Honeoye Lake is one of 12 lakes statewide receiving extra attention because of its pervasive problems with weeds and harmful blue-green algae blooms. The DEC retained a contractor to develop a phosphorus-fighting plan that will be put to action.

Richmond Town Supervisor Caroline Sauers, in an email about projects around the lake, said there is progress in tackling algae blooms, adding it “is a complicated problem that is going to take a complicated solution.”

The Canandaigua Messenger:
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