Thursday, June 22nd: Important DEC Public Hearing on Restoration Projects
The NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), together with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services, have scheduled an Open House June 22 to discuss proposed restoration projects for damage caused by Honeywell to the Onondaga Lake watershed. There’s an open house at 5pm, where the DEC will present the 20 or so projects currently on the table. At 6pm there will be a public hearing. The event will take place at Syracuse Community Connections (formerly the Southwest Community Center), 401 South Ave, Syracuse.
To our knowledge, none of the 20 proposed projects address the restoration of Onondaga Creek in Syracuse. Instead, proposed projects would exclusively mitigate damage to Onondaga Lake, Nine Mile Creek, and the Tully Valley. Onondaga Creek is the lake’s largest tributary, and damages to the residents of the South Side In the first part of this campaign, however, we won more time so that projects to restore Onondaga Creek could be finalized and submitted.
In the public comment period (6pm) after the Open House, we will demand that Onondaga Creek projects get prioritized for funding. South Side residents are interested in the Meadowbrook Flood Retention system as a model for what could be created along the Creek. This would restore habitat, offer recreation opportunities, and increase the creek’s carrying capacity, perhaps reversing recently mandated floodplain insurance. Brush up on background info here.
Please help us get the word out to mobilize turnout and fight the perpetuation of environmental racism in our community:
Join one of several teams of door knockers going out between 3 and 5pm on Saturday. Email Dawn Wilson.
Attend the hearing in solidarity. Our goal is to ensure that residents of the South Side have the opportunity to raise their voices, name their losses, and demand the forms of restoration and reparation they deserve. To that end, those of us living outside the neighborhood are encouraged to carry signs supporting creek restoration and, if speaking, to amplify the voices of our neighbors on the South Side.