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Welcome to the Cayuga Lake Modeling Project (CLMP) website. 

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and Cornell University have agreed to conduct a detailed study of the sources and fate of phosphorus in Cayuga Lake. The primary goal of this project is to build a computational water quality model of Cayuga Lake and its watershed, providing a better understanding of where phosphorus comes from, and how it affects the lake ecosystem. Cornell will fund this initiative, and has consulted with NYSDEC to develop a team of independent experts to conduct the work.

Cornell is required to fund a water quality model of Cayuga Lake as one of several conditions placed on the Lake Source Cooling (LSC) discharge permit renewal. NYSDEC and Cornell agree that a water quality model of Cayuga Lake is needed to establish whether the return flow from the LSC facility has any negative impacts on Cayuga Lake. Once completed, the model will enable NYS DEC to determine how much phosphorus can be added to the southern basin of Cayuga Lake from all sources, while protecting the lake’s water quality and aquatic habitat. This regulatory determination is referred to as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) allocation. Since 2002, the southern basin of Cayuga Lake has been on state and federal lists of impaired waters requiring a TMDL. NYSDEC has not been able to complete the phosphorus TMDL for southern Cayuga Lake due to limited funding resources.

We welcome active community participation and hope you will return to this web site often to find meeting announcements, meeting summaries, and draft materials for your review. Throughout the project, there will be numerous opportunities for community members to provide their input in other ways as well--look for a schedule of events.

July 2015 - Ithaca Journal "East Hill Notes" - Cayuga Lake Modeling Project Update (Gary Stewart)

May 2015 - Progress Report on the Cayuga Lake Modeling Project may be found here.

The final permit for the Lake Source Cooling facility and other informational background are available on the NYSDEC web site.

A list of Frequently Asked Questions (Public FAQ's)  has been developed, and will be updated throughout the project. (Last updated 12/5/14.) 


Please let us know your questions! You can contact:

Diane Carlton, Citizen Participation Specialist
NYSDEC Region 7

615 Erie Blvd. West
Syracuse, NY 13204
(315) 426-7403


Liz Moran, Project Consultant
EcoLogic LLC

9 Albany St., Suite 3J
Cazenovia, NY 13035
(315) 655-8305