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Canandaigua Lake 9 Element Plan

The Canandaigua Lake Watershed Nine Element Plan for Enhanced Phosphorus

Management has been approved by New York State Department of Environmental


This multi-year effort to develop the Canandaigua Lake Watershed 9E Plan for Enhanced Phosphorus Reduction was led

by the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council, (intermunicipal coalition consisting of the fourteen watershed and water

purveying municipalities) with input from many partners engaged with lake and watershed management issues,

including Ontario and Yates County Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Commission,

the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association, Cornell University, and project consultant Ecologic LLC. 

The approved 9 Element Plan can be downloaded from the NYS DEC website:

Approved Plan


Press Release

The information below documents the process to develop the 9 Element Plan, including plan drafts, public information meetings, and public comments.

Draft 9 Element Plan for Enhanced Phosphorus Management


The Draft Canandaigua Lake Watershed Nine Element Plan for Enhanced Phosphorus Management is

available for review and your comments (links below)The Nine Element Plan supplements the 2014

Comprehensive  Update to the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Management Plan. This webpage features

more general information on Nine Element Plans and the planning process below.

In addition to the meeting, you can submit comments to the plan in the form at the bottom

of this page at anytime.

Draft Nine Element Plan

Appendix A: Canandaigua Lake Monitoring Quality Assurance Project Plan

Appendix A: Signature Page

Appendix B: Watershed SWAT Model Quality Assurance Project Plan

Appendix C: Watershed SWAT Model Report

Amending the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Plan to Meet New Challenges and Requirements

Our watershed management plan has played an important role in guiding management efforts by

documenting lake and watershed conditions, identifying on-going and new risks to the lake, and

prioritizing actions. State agencies have often used the success of our watershed plan (most recent

update in 2014) and ongoing watershed programs as a model across New York State. 

In the last few years, the US EPA and the NYS DEC have put a new emphasis on plans that meet a

threshold called a 9 Element Watershed Management Plan.  In fact, grant applications are starting

to get higher priority if the watershed has a 9-element plan completed.  

Over the last couple decades, we have been very successful in obtaining state grants to implement

many high priority projects identified in the Watershed Plan.  To stay grant competitive and to address

new concerns to the lake, the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council, along with its partners, are in the

process of completing the necessary steps to update our plan to meet the criteria of a 9E Plan. 

The NYS DEC had reviewed our plan and highlighted that we meet many of the 9 Element components

listed below.  The area that we need to showcase more clearly in our plan is to utilize a computer model

to calculate existing pollutant loads into the lake and evaluate the effectiveness of practices identified in

the existing watershed plan.  Our lake and stream sampling program are being used to calibrate the model to reality. 

What are the 9 Elements?

A) Identify and quantify sources of pollution in watershed

B) Identify water quality target or goal and pollutant reductions needed to achieve goal

C) Identify the best management practices (BMPs) that will help to achieve reductions needed to meet water quality goal/target

D) Describe the financial and technical assistance needed to implement BMPs identified in Element C

E) Describe the outreach to stakeholders and how their input was incorporated and the role of stakeholders to implement the plan

F) Estimate a schedule to implement BMPs identified in plan

G) Describe the milestones and estimated time frames for the implementation of BMPs implemented

H) Identify the criteria that will be used to assess water quality improvement as the plan is

I) Describe the monitoring plan that will collect water quality data need to measure water quality improvement (criteria identified in         

   Element H) 

For more information on 9 Element Plans:

The Canandaigua Lake 9E Addendum Status

The first step to the 9E Addendum is to complete the non-point source pollution watershed model to estimate nutrient and sediment loading to the lake.  Our watershed area is large and the factors affecting loads are very complex.  Therefore, the watershed model provides a very rough estimate of loading.  The power of the model is really in assessing relative load reductions from different management practices in the watershed.  We have partnered with Dr. Todd Walter, Dr. Scott Steinschneider, and their PhD student Mahnaz Sepehrmanesh to complete the watershed model.  We presented the modeling results for current conditions at the first public presentation (see below).  We are working on modeling management practices and scenarios.

Public Presentation #1 - February 18, 2022

A public meeting was held to provide an update on the process to incorporate the EPA Nine Elements into the existing watershed plan for Canandaigua Lake. Watershed Council staff and professors and a doctoral student from Cornell University presented at this virtual event. They:

• Reviewed the existing Watershed Plan
• Described the process to update the plan to a 9 Element Plan
• Summarized computer modeling and water quality monitoring helping to estimate pollution loads, and
• Provided a draft set of Best Management Practices with pollution reduction estimates.

Participants provided comments and questions.

Click below to watch the presentation 







Public Presentation #2 - April 13, 2023 at 3 pm via Zoom.


The second public meeting reviewed the draft 9E Plan. The Watershed Program Manager also presented projects that have been completed in the watershed and serve as examples for future projects that would help achieve 9E targets.  Click below to watch a video recording of the Zoom presentation. 










Public Comments

Click here to review the public comments. 

Stay Up to Date and Send Us Your Comments

The pandemic has upended all aspects of life.  Likewise, it makes it difficult for us to hold in-person meetings throughout the 9E Planning Process.  Therefore, we have set up an online comment submission section (below).  Your comments, suggestions, feedback, etc. on the 9E Addendum will be critical.  We will be collecting your feedback throughout the process and would be happy to follow up with any questions and concerns you may have.

This webpage is also the place to stay up to date on the planning process, see draft documents as they are completed, and get information on upcoming meetings.

Please let us know if you have any questions and we look forward to your comments!

Canandaigua 9E Public Presentation #1

Canandaigua 9E Public Presentation #1

Play Video