Owasco Watershed Lake Association

Owasco Lake lies at the heart of our Finger Lakes community. The lake anchors our sense of place and our economic and community health depends on the lake.
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“Speak on behalf of the lake for she cannot speak for herself”

About OWLA

The Owasco Watershed Lake Association exists to protect Owasco Lake. We are a citizen-based, 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation founded in 1988. Our guardianship extends beyond the lake basin across 208 square miles of watershed, the land area where every drop of falling, flowing water eventually reaches Owasco Lake.

OWLA commits itself to facilitating the strategies and activities that are designed to restore our watershed and improve water quality for both drinking and full recreational use of Owasco Lake and its watershed.

Owasco Lake is threatened!

We Need your help!!  Harmful Alga Blooms and Hemlock Woolly Adelgid invasion is threatening our lake’s health!

Harmful Algal Blooms

The frequency and intensity of HABs are increasing

 OWLA is Leading the Efforts 

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

The tiny bug that’s a giant threat

OWLA is working with the Rotary Clubs of Auburn & Moravia to Inform and Involve the Public! 

Participate! Volunteer! Become involved: 

Why Join OWLA?

 OWLA works best with more members to raise our voice loud and clear.

 Owasco Lake, as an economic engine of our region, needs ALL of our support!

 Become part of the solution with an “annual” OWLA membership. You will be doing your part to protect the vitality of the region – water is vital to our economic success!

How well do you know OWLA?

  • What is OWLA?
  • What are OWLA’s Mission and Values?
  • What Isn’t OWLA?
  • What has OWLA done in the past?
  • What new projects is OWLA looking forward to?
  • What organizations are OWLA’s partners?

We’ve put together an informative article answering all of these questions!

The Latest News & Updates

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Owasco Watershed Lake Association

Owasco Watershed Lake Association

We actively participate in ongoing strategies that are designed to protect Owasco Lake and watershed.

OWLA gets things done!

  • In response to OWLA’s urgent calls for action about the increasing presence of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in Owasco Lake, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) launched a pilot citizen shoreline surveillance program on Owasco and Seneca Lakes in 2016. Today, this program helps monitor HABs in water bodies across New York State.
  • OWLA works with other water protection agencies to gather public and political support of Cayuga County’s proposed new Watershed Rules and Regulations

We need your help!

Meet the OWLA Board of Directors

OWLA is a membership organization run by volunteers!

Research. Mitigation. Outreach.

OWLA works best with more members to raise our voice loud and clear. If you live near the lake, recreate on the lake, depend on it for your drinking water, or need water to keeping your business flowing, we need your membership and your voice!


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OWLA supports our partners!

Take the Lake Friendly Living Pledge

Take action today to better care for Owasco Lake and its watershed! If you live in the watershed, tens of thousands of people who depend on Owasco Lake for drinking water need YOU to do your part. Auburnians, who live downstream of the Owasco Lake watershed, are part of the larger Oswego River/Finger Lakes watershed that other communities depend on for clean, safe water. Learn more about the Lake Friendly Living Pledge that people are taking across the Finger Lakes Region, and consider taking the pledge.

HABs Reporting in Owasco Lake

The OWLA HABs Program Volunteers monitor their assigned shoreline zones once a week from July  through early October.


Learn More about HAB reporting:

YOU Can Help OWLA!


We need help funding our 2023 programs!

  • HABs Monitoring and Testing
  • Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Treatment
  • Community Rain Garden
  • Ditch Stabilization Program
  • Other projects to help protect Owasco Lake!

 OWLA is Leading the Efforts to Keep Owasco Lake Healthy!