Diving into a New Era: A Cleaner Onondaga Lake Celebrated in Central New York


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On a crystal clear day in Central New York, hundreds of community members cheered on the shores of Onondaga Lake as members of the public, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner, local elected and county officials, and Honeywell leaders jumped into the lake. The symbolic swim represented the ongoing return of the lake as a community asset.

The event was organized by Believe in Syracuse, a nonprofit organization that promotes the Greater Syracuse area. Honeywell is one of the parties responsible for the cleanup of Onondaga Lake pursuant to an agreement with New York State regulators. The cleanup is making terrific progress. According to a report by the Upstate Freshwater Institute, “Water quality conditions in the northern two-thirds of the lake are now suitable for swimming.” The report was issued by Onondaga County.

Onondaga_in-story“The swim is a testament to Onondaga County’s work, which has improved water quality to the best it’s been in more than 100 years,” said John McAuliffe, Honeywell Syracuse Program Director. “The community’s pride and passion have helped fuel this progress and are being rewarded as the lake become a healthy, sustainable asset for generations to come.”

Watch this video to learn about the program.

“Onondaga Lake is a great American success story. We have made enormous progress; the lake is experiencing a rebirth. There’s still work to be done. This swim is a celebration of how far we’ve come and how much of an opportunity this lake has for the entire region,” said DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens.

Onondaga_in-story2Swimming from shore has been banned in Onondaga Lake since 1940. The ban continues because there is no public beach.

For more information on Honeywell’s global corporate citizenship and STEM, visit Honeywell Hometown Solutions.