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New Onondaga Lake boat launch opens

By Journal Staff



SYRACUSE — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on Oct. 16 announced the completion and grand opening of the new Onondaga Lake boat-launch site in the town of Geddes.

The site is dedicated to Kenneth P. Lynch for his commitment to the restoration of Onondaga Lake. Lynch served as regional director of DEC’s Region 7 for nearly two decades, and most recently as executive deputy commissioner until his retirement in March 2019. 

The Onondaga Lake boat-launch site offers free launching capabilities for trailered motorboats and cartop boats, such as canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards, the DEC said. Site features provide access for wheelchairs and visitors of all abilities. The new launch site complements the Loop-the-Lake Trail extension that traverses the site.

The boat-launch facility was funded through an Environmental Benefit Project (EBP) as part of an Onondaga Lake cleanup consent order with Honeywell. EBPs are agreed to as part of the settlement of an enforcement matter and are designed to benefit the local community and environment, the DEC explained.

The boat-launch features include:

• Double-width, center-launch ramp with two accessible floating boarding docks on either side to allow launching of trailered motorboats even as water levels fluctuate;

• Separate car-top boat launch with designated accessible parking;

• Accessible fishing and viewing platform;

• Accessible picnic area with concrete pathway, pads, and tables;

• Temporary wheelchair accessible portable toilet, with a permanent accessible restroom facility to be constructed in the spring;

• Paved parking area that accommodates 30 vehicles with trailers and 30 single vehicles, with additional designated accessible parking for both trailered and single vehicles;

• Solar-powered safety lighting, designed to minimize light pollution;

• Multiple tie-down areas with invasive-species disposal bins and running water for flushing bilges and livewells and hosing off boat surfaces to help reduce the spread of aquatic invasive species; and

• Designated boat-preparation area to help foster safer and more efficient launching.

“The Ken Lynch boat launch site provides enhanced recreational opportunities along Onondaga Lake that were unthinkable just a generation ago,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a statement. “Water quality has improved, aquatic populations are rebounding, and bald eagle numbers and other wildlife are increasing. This project makes it possible for anglers, boaters, and outdoor enthusiasts to experience a reinvigorated Onondaga Lake.”   

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