Legislation Passes Assembly, Senate to Add Lake Neatahwanta to List of Inland Waterways

Signs were posted by the city of Fulton in 2004 advising residents not to swim or allow their pets in Lake Neatahwanta.

FULTON – Assemblyman Will Barclay announced today (July 6) that legislation to add Lake Neatahwanta to the state’s list of inland waterways passed the Assembly.

The legislation also adds the Oswego River to the list of inland waterways.

Barclay said this legislation will allow the city of Fulton to take advantage of more grant opportunities to preserve and revitalize the lake and the Oswego River as part of the city’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan.

The State Barge Canal System, which runs through Fulton, Phoenix, Minetto and Volney along the Oswego River, is already a designated inland waterway, which enables the city to create a Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan.

“Adding Lake Neatahwanta and the Oswego River will help protect these valuable waterways while at the same time, help boost local economic, recreational, and conservation efforts,” said Barclay. “I am happy that the city of Fulton is planning for its future and, if signed by the Governor, the city will be able to use this designation to help secure more state and federal dollars.”

There are currently more than 120 waterways listed on the state’s Department of State Designated Inland Waterways.

The program was developed to ensure the protection and best uses of the state’s inland water resources and to promote the revitalization of waterfront communities.

Mayor Ron Woodward said he was grateful for Assemblyman Barclay’s and Senator Patty Ritchie’s advocacy for the city of Fulton.

He is hopeful the designation will help fund future lake cleanup efforts.

“I am thankful to both the Assemblyman and the Senator for their hard work in getting this legislation passed. Fulton is fortunate to have both a lake and a river in its boundaries. This legislation will help us to clean up the lake, restore the water quality, and offer more recreation by opening up more funding opportunities,” said Woodward. “I am hopeful the Governor will sign this legislation quickly.”


  1. The lake is eutrophic. Any money spent trying to stop HAB’s is money wasted that would be better spent on opening a community pool. “The high levels of phosphorus and sediments entering the lake from Sheldon Creek were in excess of those observed in creeks of New York receiving point source loadings from small sewage treatment plants. Improvement of the water quality of Lake Neatahwanta will depend upon the identification and remediation of the major sources of nutrients in the watershed and in the Sheldon Creek watershed in particular.” Credit to Joseph C. Makarewicz and Theodore W. Lewis. “Nutrient Loading of Streams Entering Lake Neatahwanta Oswego County, NY: A Summary of the Lake Neatahwanta Tributary Monitoring” (1999). The Oswego County Soil and Water District received 4 studies in 1994, 1998, 1999 and 2002. “. Comparison of Sheldon Creek to streams with similar discharges in the upstate New York area suggested Sheldon Creek was heavily polluted (Makarewicz and Lewis (1998).” These studies could serve as a valuable baseline and should be repeated to see if there has been any improvement of the nutrient and TSS loading. Even if there has been an improvement, dredging 715 acres of underwater soil and transporting that soil far enough away so it doesn’t re-enter the lake will cost millions, or as one of the studies states, “prohibitively expensive.”

Comments are closed.