Regional Water Quality

"The health of our waters is the principal measure of how we live on the land." Luna Leopold

Regional Water Quality

Regional Water Quality

County Water Quality Committees

Lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands are treasured assets for the STC region. Three County Water Quality Committees meet regularly to protect and improve of these valuable water resources.

Chemung County Water Quality Strategy Committee

Committee Webpage

Schuyler County Water Quality Coordinating Committee

Committee Webpage

Steuben County Water Quality Coordinating Committee

Committee Webpage

Watershed Planning

The health of streams, rivers, lakes, and wetlands is tied to the health of the land surfaces from which the water drains. The land area that drains into a waterbody is called its watershed. Watershed planning is a comprehensive approach for addressing the full range of factors that could affect a body of water. Working with the County Water Quality Coordinating Committees and other partners, STC has led or participated in watershed planning for Keuka Lake, Seneca Lake, the Susquehanna-Chemung Watershed, and other watersheds.

Watershed Plans

STC Documents

STC Online Mapping Tool

STC Webpage

Online Mappers for Natural Features

Handout with links to additional online maps with natural feature information for central and western New York.
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Although the Chesapeake Bay is located many miles from New York’s Southern Tier, water from much of the region drains toward the Susquehanna River and eventually into the Bay. New York State participates in efforts to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and STC partners with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to implement practices that help to improve water quality locally, as well as downstream.

Chesapeake Bay Watershed Program

NYS DEC webpage
Go to Website

Stories in Water Data: What the Sediment and Nutrient Assessment Program in the Susquehanna River Is Saying

Story map by Susquehanna River Basin Commission
Go to Website

“Acre for acre forest land is the most beneficial land use for protecting water quality, and every loss of forestland contributes to the impairment of the Chesapeake Bay.”

The State of Chesapeake Forests

Drinking Water Source Protection

Protecting drinking water is a high priority and STC is working with state agencies to implement the Drinking Water Source Protection Program (DWSP2). A DWSP2 Framework is available to help municipalities develop and implement plans for public water supplies that protect public health and avoid preventable drinking water treatment costs.

NYS Drinking Water Source Protection Program

NYS DEC webpage
Go to Website

Final Report of the Central Southern Tier Groundwater Critical Recharge Area Project (1985)

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Streams and Rivers

Streams and rivers are valuable assets to the rural and developed landscapes through which they pass. However, streams are active systems that respond to disturbances and land use changes. This poses management challenges as we strive to reduce the potential for damage from erosion and flooding.

Stream Processes

Live in harmony with streams: Let streams move and let their floodplains flood.
STC Webpage

Guidelines for Managing Debris in Streams and Rivers

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Lakes and Wetlands

The STC region is blessed with two Finger Lakes–Keuka and Seneca—and many smaller lakes and wetlands. In addition to risks of water pollution, these waterbodies are threatened by invasive species that disrupt native ecosystems and harmful algal blooms that pose health risks.

Seneca-Keuka Watershed Nine Element Plan

Seneca Watershed Intermunicipal Organization
Go to Website

Upper Susquehanna Coalition Wetland Team

Go to Website

Lake-Friendly Living for Homeowners

Keuka Lake Association
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A Homeowner's Guide to Lake-Friendly Living

Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association
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Small Lakes Mapping

Small lakes are very sensitive to land disturbance because their watersheds are generally small and the impacts can be felt relatively quickly. STC created a series of maps for many of the region’s small lakes that show watershed boundaries, contours and areas with steep slopes.
STC Documents

Recreation

Water-based recreation enhances the health and quality of life for residents and supports the region’s vibrant tourist economy. In addition to providing opportunities to connect with nature, recreational facilities typically have less impact on water quality and lower vulnerability to flood damage than other uses.

River and Boating Safety Guide for the Southern Tier

Brochure by Environmental Emergency Services
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Friends of the Chemung River Watershed

Non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting recreational use of the Chemung River and its tributaries, the Canisteo, Cohocton, Cowanesque, and Tioga Rivers
Go to Website

Chemung Basin River Trail: Your Trip to the Ocean Starts at Your Back Door

Presentation about Chemung Basin River Trail accomplishments (2010)
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Outdoor Recreation

Section 10 of Susquehanna-Chemung Action Plan (2012)
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Additional Resources

Water Quality and Quantity

Section 1 of Susquehanna-Chemung Action Plan (2012)
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The Scoop about Pet Poop

SLAP-5 brochure
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Managing Your On-site Wastewater Treatment System

SLAP-5 brochure
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Water Conservation in Your Home Protects the Wastewater System in Your Yard

SLAP-5 brochure
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Flooding Problems? Small Solutions with Large Results

Upper Susquehanna Conservation Alliance brochure
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Before Buying or Building: Flood Risk Identification

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Recommended Management Practices for Highway Operations

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Stormwater Runoff

STC Webpage

Flood Resilience

STC Webpage

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