The Seneca Lake Watershed management planning process began in 1996 with the development of the "Seneca Lake Watershed Study: Developing An Understanding of An Important Natural Resource." The study called for an in-depth description and analysis to determine watershed health. an education and awareness program to educate local residents about watershed issues and stimulate their interest in protecting Seneca Lake, development of a coalition for cooperation and participation in watershed projects, and development of a plan for the watershed and its residents to achieve the following goal:
"To protect and enhance Seneca Lake and its surrounding watershed through the encouragement of sound management practices and cooperation at the local level to develop a comprehensive approach for Improving the quality of life and water in the Seneca Lake Watershed."
Completion of the preliminary watershed study was instrumental in the creation of the Seneca Lake Area Partners in Five Counties (SLAP-S). Comprised of representatives from local, regional, state, and federal agencies as well as concerned citizens, the group serves as the Oversight Committee for the Seneca Lake Watershed Management Planning process. As part of that process, a comprehensive report, "Setting A Course for Seneca Lake," was completed in 1999.
Maintaining high water quality in Seneca Lake is a major purpose of watershed planning. This Executive Summary highlights key findings of the Report. It describes the current "state of the watershed" research, outlines potential threats to water quality in the-watershed, and summarizes the importance of public and municipal government education and outreach efforts.
Watershed protection necessarily contains a large educational component that provides a connection to peoples' lives and can include a variety of audiences such as various interest-groups, school children, local government, farmers, cottage-owners, developers, businesses, municipal water drinkers, industries, highway superintendents, anglers and boaters. Undertaking an intense public outreach and education program to cement stakeholder participation in the next phases of the planning process is the next step in the Seneca Lake Watershed Project and "Setting A Course for Seneca Lake" forms a solid foundation for the hard work of planning and implementation that lies ahead.
Seneca Lake Area Partners In Five Countries (SLAP-5) and Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association, "Setting a Course for Seneca Lake - The State of the Seneca Lake Watershed 1999" (1999). Technical Reports. 135.