Seneca Lake

Newslinks and Resources for Seneca Lake - a Finger Lake and part of the Rochester, NY area's environment   


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Seneca Lake"Located within Ontario, Yates, Seneca, and Schuyler counties, Seneca Lake lies in the geographic center of the Finger Lakes. At the northern tip of the lake is the City of Geneva, and at the southern tip is the Village of Watkins Glen. Seneca lake has the largest volume of water of the Finger Lakes." --NYS DEC

To find out more about the Finger Lakes in general, climate studies, water quality reports, and educational resources go to the Finger Lakes page.

Seneca Lake NewsLinks

It's important to monitor the health of our Finger Lakes, which is a part of our regions environmental health.


  • Seneca Lake algae testing will be done Potentially toxic blue-green algae may have bloomed in Seneca Lake last year. Then again, maybe it didn't. There was a certain amount of confusion on that point at the largest Finger Lake last year, partly because no one was sampling to see if it really was algae that folks kept seeing. That should be a thing of the past. The Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association announced Tuesday that the group and the state Department of Environmental Conservation have arranged to begin regular observation, sampling and analysis of Seneca water for the presence of algal toxin. "We welcome this initiative from DEC to create an organized and effective program to monitor this threat to public health and safety. Last year we had a number of questions from residents and no way to respond to their concerns," said Edwin Przybylowicz, who will coordinate the sampling for the lake association. As the Democrat and Chronicle reported last summer, the five largest Finger Lakes -- Cayuga, Seneca, Keuka, Canandaigua and Skaneateles -- had been left out of the extensive toxin sampling that's been done in recent years by the state. Mainly this was because the lake associations there either didn't know about the state algal-toxin testing or chose not to get involved. (July 8, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Finger Lakes and Water Quality and Seneca Lake in our area]


  • Watchdog follow-up: Largest Finger Lakes don't get toxin testing Parts of the Seneca Lake shoreline were draped at times this summer with the oddly colored water and white froth that often signal the presence of blue-green algae blooms. The blooms, which can be accompanied by potentially dangerous toxin, provoked a flood of complaints to the lake association. But Seneca Lake’s waters were never tested for algal toxin. Seneca, the largest of the 11 Finger Lakes, was never included on New York’s warning list of water bodies suffering blooms because environmental officials tried twice but weren’t able to verify that blooms had even occurred. Members of the lake association were left confused. “We issued an alert to our members and … asked them to report to the DEC. I haven’t heard anything back from anybody,” said Mary Ann Kowalski, president of the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association. (September 23, 2013) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Water Quality and Seneca Lake in our area]


  • Public defends "pristine, beautiful" Seneca Lake at gas hearing | Innovation Trail Bill Moler, the president of the Inergy subsidiary that aims to store 2.1 million gallons of propane in salt caverns next to Seneca Lake, faced a tough crowd on Tuesday night. He attended a Department of Conservation-organized public hearing in Watkins Glen, and was tasked with trying to persuade the crowd that the project would go largely unnoticed - and would yield lower propane prices in the region. But that wasn't a convincing argument to those who came to voice their opposition. Hundreds of local residents turned out, and many expressed fears the project would industrialize a region that depends on tourism. (September 28, 2011) Innovation Trail [More on Seneca Lake in our area]




  • Committee to discuss lake overgrowth Frank All, an Arcadia resident with a summer home on Kashong Point, presented the petition bearing 203 signatures of lakefront property owners to the board last night. The petition requests town officials seek federal or state money to purchase an aquatic weed harvester that would be used to remove the vegetation on the western side of Seneca Lake, from the Geneva city line south to the Yates County line.  (January 10, 2003) Finger Lakes Times Geneva, NY


  •  Lake weed out of control GENEVA - Imagine a creature that invades your home and makes a nest. It replicates faster than you can kill it, spawning thousands of times over. Pretty soon it is consuming your food supply, and crowding you out of your own home. You can barely move without its clinging to you. And it is ugly and smelly to boot.The plot of the latest Halloween horror movie? No: the weeds growing in Seneca Lake.  (November 01, 02) Finger Lakes Times
  • Students studying Seneca Lake A trio is continuing eight years of research on the nutrient levels and impact of zebra mussels in the lake. (July 16, 2002) Daily Messenger
  • Input sought on housing for lakefront GENEVA - A city committee wants more information and community input before taking a stand on lakefront housing. Mayor Donald Cass asked the committee for its input after he had City Manager Richard Rising mark off the roughly 20 acres that would be available for development between the city's Lake Shore Park and Seneca Lake State Park.(April 24, 2002) Finger Lakes Times


  • In-depth studies on Seneca Lake  Nearly 40 teens from across the country are participating in this year's Environmental Studies Summer Youth Institute at Hobart and William Smith. The students, entering their junior and senior years of high school, are living on campus for a two-week interdisciplinary exploration into the environment. (Wednesday, July 18, 2001) Finger Lakes Times



Resources for Seneca Lake

If you live near Seneca Lake perhaps one of these resources can be a way for you to become involved with your lake's health. 

  • Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association -dedicated  to "enhancing and preserving the quality of Seneca Lake"  Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association is moving forward! In 2009, after a two-year hiatus during which the activities of the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association (SLPWA) essentially ceased its activities, a new group reorganized SLPWA under new leadership.   We are indebted to Richard Ahola, Mary Anne Kowalski and Phil Cianciotto who agreed to serve as interim officiers in the reconstituted organization as well as to Professor John Halfman who was custodian of the organization’s records and encouraged the re-formation of this organization.  By August, 2012, the association had over 430 members and SLPWA had indeed been reborn with a group of active and interested members who were willing to continue the development of the organization and its mission of stewardship for Seneca Lake and its watershed.  
  • Zebra Mussel Impact on Seneca Lake Secchi Disc Depths: The Secchi disc is a simple but robust method to measure water transparency (shown left). The disc is attached to a rope and slowly lowered through the water until it just disappears from view. This depth is noted. It is lowered some more, then slowly raised until the disc is just observed. This depth is also noted. The Secchi depth is the average of these two depths 
  • Seneca Lake Get the facts on Seneca Lake from the NYS DEC
  •  Ontario County Planning & Research Department
  • Lake/Watershed Report/chap9.pdf
  • Lake/Watershed Report/chap8.pdf