Cayuga Lake Watershed Intermunicipal Organization

Actions of local governments can have a profound impact on water quality.

Local governments can encourage practices that protect the lake and its tributaries, called Best Management Practices (BMPs), and enact regulations and policies that prevent pollution and contaminants from reaching waterbodies.

The following resources are geared toward municipalities. See what your county, city, town, or village can do to improve water quality. Contact us for more information. 

CWIO is HIRING! The position of Watershed Manager is now open. Apply here. If you have questions, contact the CWIO Chair at

Contact your Watershed Manager to talk about needs in your community.  Together you can identify projects, project partners, and funding sources to complete needed water resource work in your municipality.   

2023 Monthly Reports: 

Actions by municipalities can have positive or negative impacts on water. The following resources outline best management practices, model laws and training for local governments to help understand and implement policies, procedures, and legislation that can help preserve waters within the watershed.

Addressing Stormwater
Protecting Wetlands
Flooding, Hazard Mitigation, and Resiliency
Conserving Lands Affecting the Watershed

Municipalities can fund water preservation efforts through a number of programs. Make your municipal money go further with the help of the following grants and loans:

  • In 2022, as part of the Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP), NYSDEC developed a Funding Finder tool. Please view the Funding Finder User Guide for more information on how to use this new tool. 
  • Funding Guide Database – from Syracuse University Environmental Finance Center. 
    This reference tool is designed for New York State municipalities and local governments looking to fund sustainable and environmentally friendly capital projects. 
  • Water Quality Improvement Projects
    WQIP funds implementation projects to improve water quality or aquatic habitat, or protect a drinking water source. Eligible project types include wastewater treatment improvement, non-agricultural nonpoint source abatement and control, land acquisition for source water protection, salt storage, aquatic connectivity restoration, and marine habitat restoration.
  • WQIP Land Acquisition Projects for Source Water Protection Toolkit:
    WQIP Land Acquisition Projects for Source Water Protection provides funding to municipalities, land trusts and soil and water conservation districts to purchase land and/or conservation easements to protect their public drinking water.
  • Non-Agricultural Nonpoint Source Planning and MS4 Mapping Grant:
    The Non-Agricultural Nonpoint Source Planning and MS4 Mapping Grant (NPG) is a competitive, reimbursement grant program that funds planning reports for nonpoint source water quality improvement projects and mapping of Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s). The program aims to prepare nonpoint source projects for construction and application for implementation funding, and to encourage and support cooperation among regulated MS4s to complete mapping of their stormwater system.
  • Green Innovation Grant Program for water quality projects that mitigate climate change.
  • Local Waterfront Revitalization Program
    NYS DOS Program for working in partnership with waterfront communities.  An LWRP is a comprehensive land and water use program that expresses a vision for the waterfront and refines State policies to reflect local or regional needs and objectives and allows them to be enforced at the local level.
  • Forest Conservation Easements for Land Trusts Program
    Conservation easements can help protect lands that are important for maintaining water quality. 
  • Great Lakes Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program
    The Great Lakes Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program provides grants to reduce nutrients and sediments entering the Great Lakes
  • Buffer in a Bag
    The Buffer in a Bag program provides organizations and private landowners with free tree and shrub seedlings to help establish or improve a stream buffer on their property
  • Rural Communities Assistance Partnership
    The RCAP can assist municipalities <10,000 with work on drinking water and waste water infrastructure needs. 
  • Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering Planning Grant.
    Engineering reports are required in the EFC financing application process. Grants are available to help municipalities jump-start their work early on with funding for initial planning, so they can be better prepared to seek financing to help them complete their wastewater, sewer and water quality projects.
  • Climate Smart Communities Grants
    For eligible climate change mitigation, adaptation, and planning and assessment projects.
  • Critical Lands Preservation via Parks
    NYS Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation – Preservation, and Heritage grants for the acquisition, planning, development, and improvement of parks, to municipalities and not for profits with an ownership interest.

Note: These are only a small selection of funding opportunities, there are many more.

Feel free to reach out to the Watershed Manager with any questions

For a listing of upcoming trainings (including registration links), please view our most recent NEWSLETTER 
  • The Community Science Institute hosts a variety of educational outreach and training events.
  • Cayuga Lake Watershed Network: CWIO sister organization collaborating with public and private entities to advocate for Cayuga Lake and deliver education and outreach programming. For more, visit the CLWN YouTube Page.
  • Watershed Academy: developed by the US EPA. This compilation of trainings and webinars can help municipalities integrate strategies across planning efforts, and improve outreach and other actions for an increased ability to access funding.
  • LEWPA Municipal Training Resources (from Lake Erie but the practices are applicable to municipaliites throughout NY)
Harmful algal blooms
Our partner organizations host a number of maps of the watershed. See the following maps on their websites: 

The following organizations help to monitor the health of the lake. Feel free to reach out to them directly for seasonal information.

Having an educated public is an important component to protecting water. The following are resources to share with your residents.

Hydrilla information – See the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network’s Hydrilla page

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