Runoff from agricultural lands containing soil and nutrients poses a known threat to the water quality of embayments and coastal regions of Lake Ontario (Makarewicz 2000). The Lakeview Marsh State Wildlife Management Area in Jefferson County, NY is a prime example of these types of ecologically valuable coastal wetland and embayment habitats. This embayment / wetland complex is fed by the watersheds of Sandy Creek and South Sandy Creek. The mouths of these creeks contain globally rare freshwater dunes, diverse wetlands and several types of globally rare vegetation. Sandy Creek also provides an emergency unfiltered drinking water supply for the Village of Adams and the Hamlet of Adams Center. In general, the environmental effects of agricultural runoff, including eutrophication and sedimentation, on surface water bodies are serious local, regional and national issues. These issues create a dilemma for governmental leaders in agricultural areas; their most important economic industry, agriculture, may also be the cause of environmental degradation. For farmers, this is further exacerbated by the high profile increase of governmental regulation on agricultural operations. The agricultural industry needs scientific evidence that they are capable of being part of the solution not just part of the problem.
Makarewicz, Joseph C. and Lewis, Theodore W., "Analysis of the Existing Water Quality Database for the Sandy Creek and South Sandy Creek Watersheds – 1997 to 2005" (2006). Technical Reports. 31.