Press Room

Central New Yorkers Celebrate a Renewed Onondaga Lake at Onondaga Cup and Lakefest

Thousands Attend Return of Regatta and Lake Festival

Central New Yorkers picnicked, walked, played, and cheered along the shoreline Saturday as a summer rowing tradition returned to Onondaga Lake.

The Onondaga Cup and Lakefest included a full day of rowing, kayak, and paddleboard competitions. The morning kicked off with a canoe race between New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s team and the Central New York team with Onondaga County Executive Joanne Mahoney, among others. The festival also featured local artisans, live music, food, a 61-foot-tall rubber duck, a mermaid swim, and a kids’ zone with face painting and inflatables.

On the shores of Onondaga Lake and along the lake’s tributaries, Honeywell is improving 87 acres of wetlands and planting about 1.1 million plants, shrubs, and trees. To date, more than 50 acres of wetlands have been created or enhanced. More than 170 species of fish, birds, and other wildlife have already returned to restored habitat near the lake. Dredging was completed in 2014, a year ahead of schedule. Capping will be completed this year with shoreline plantings and habitat restoration continuing in spring 2017.

“The lake is back. The lake is coming back faster than anyone predicted,” said New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo (second from right). “It’s a story of renewal and rebirth, and an optimism about that rebirth that nobody expected.” Photo: Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps