Dec 11, 2012

Jul 18, 2012

Jun 11, 2012

Monday, June 18th: Watershed Community Connections

Please join us!
For more information, visit: (315) 472-2150 or

May 29, 2012

May 9, 2012

More Rain Barrel Workshops!

Residents of the City of Syracuse: don't miss more opportunities to get a rain barrel from Onondaga County!

Rain Barrel Workshop
Beauchamp Branch Library, 2111 S. Salina St | May 24, 2012 


Rain barrels are an excellent tool for catching free water to use on your flower garden, or for clean-up projects around your yard. On May 24 from 5:30-7:15PM come to a rain barrel workshop sponsored by Onondaga County's Save the Rain program at the Mundy Branch library. Join educators from Onondaga Environmental Institute to learn how to properly install and maintain a rain barrel. All city residents who attend the workshop are eligible to receive a free rain barrel. Space is limited. To guarantee your spot, please call Amy at 443-1757 or e-mail To request Spanish language translation services for the workshop, contact Laura Cardoso at 443-3507 or

"Paint Your Barrel" Rain Barrel Workshops
Westcott Community Center, 826 Euclid Ave | June 3, 2012
Art on the Porches on Ruskin Ave | June 16, 2012 

  • Learn how you can use a rain barrel to help "Save the Rain" and keep our water clean.
  • Use what you catch for your flower garden or clean-up projects around your yard!
  • You will have an opportunity to paint your barrel if you would like!
All are welcome to come to a workshop and learn about rain barrels. Workshops will take place at 12:15, 1:15, 2:15 and 3:15 on June 3 at the Westcott Community Center, and at 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 at Art on the Porches. Residents of the city of Syracuse are eligible to receive a free rain barrel. Space is limited!  RSVP by contacting Amy Samuels at 443-1757 or e-mail

Apr 13, 2012

Learn how you can protect the Onondaga Lake watershed from phosphorous pollution!

As we welcome the return of warm weather, many of us are turning to lawn maintenance. Did you know that what you do on your lawn can impact the rest of the watershed? Chemical fertilizers and pesticides ultimately make their way into the streams through stormwater runoff, and they build up in Onondaga Lake. 

Phosphorous, a nutrient found in lawn fertilizer, causes serious problems when it builds up to high concentrations in waterways. Today there are over 70 waterbodies in New York State that are suffering from phosphorous pollution. High levels of phosphorous cause algae blooms that damage water quality and lower the amount of dissolved oxygen available to fish and other aquatic organisms. Phosphorous pollution also negatively affects drinking water supplies, local recreation, and tourism. It is expensive to remove phosphorous from stormwater, so it’s really important to prevent pollution in the first place.

This year, a new state law went into effect to protect our waterways from excessive phosphorous pollution by setting limits on fertilizer use. According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), “Under the new provisions of the law, the use of phosphorus fertilizer on lawns or non-agricultural turf is restricted.  Only lawn fertilizer with less than 0.67 percent by weight phosphate content may be applied legally. Application of any fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium on lawns or non-agricultural turf is prohibited between December 1 and April 1. Application of any fertilizer on lawns or non-agricultural turf within 20 feet of a water body or on paved surfaces is restricted.  Retailers must display phosphorus fertilizer separately from phosphorus-free fertilizer and must post signs notifying customers of the terms of the law.” 

For more information about the new law and how you can help protect our watershed from phosphorous pollution, visit the DEC’s website:

Setting Limits on Phosphorous Pollution in Onondaga Lake

The DEC has developed a draft document that outlines limits on phosphorous pollution in Onondaga Lake. This document is available for public review and comment. The following information was provided through DEC’s Onondaga LakeNews Listserv:

“In accordance with federal requirements, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has prepared a draft document that proposes to allocate phosphorus discharges to Onondaga Lake.  This document is called the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for Phosphorus in Onondaga Lake and is available for review and comment by visiting  It essentially represents a pollution budget for phosphorus contribution to the lake.  Phosphorus is a nutrient found in fertilizers, human wastes, industrial wastes, agricultural runoff and storm water.  In excess, it can cause algal blooms and excessive plant growth in water bodies.

A Total Maximum Daily Load specifies the maximum amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive and still meet water quality standards.  TMDLs account for all contributing sources (e.g., point & nonpoint sources, and natural background levels), seasonal variations in the pollutant load, and incorporate a margin of safety that accounts for unknown or unexpected sources of the pollutant. ….

The proposed allocations have already been presented and discussed with many of the entities that discharge phosphorus to the lake, and the allocations are ultimately subject to approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).” 

Public comments are due by close of business on April 27th. For more information about how to submit comments, click here.

Apr 3, 2012

Get Your Rain Barrel, April 25!

With spring arriving, it’s time to bring out the rain barrels! Save the Rain's next rain barrel workshop will be held on April 25th at Mundy Branch Library (1204 S. Geddes St.) from 5:30 – 7:15 PM.

Attendees will learn how to properly install and maintain a rain barrel. All city residents who attend the workshop are eligible to receive a free rain barrel. Space is limited! To guarantee your spot, please call Amy at 443-1757 or e-mail