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Lake Ontario marine sanctuary application advances

Payne Horning
WRVO News File Photo
Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) speaks about the completion of a dredging project in front of Lake Ontario in July 2016. He praised the recent advancement of an application that would make part of Lake Ontario a national marine sanctuary.

A nomination to make part of Lake Ontario a national marine sanctuary is moving forward. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is accepting the application for further consideration. 

Oswego, Jefferson, Wayne and Cayuga counties put together the application after NOAA decided to add to its current list of 14 marine sanctuaries. It could help preserve dozens of known and unknown historic shipwrecks in 1,700 square miles of the southeastern portion of the lake for further study.

“This is a critical step forward for our local leaders, advocates, and members of the community who have worked tirelessly to raise awareness for this project,” said Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus). “This designation has the potential to grow tourism and boost our local economy while preserving some of our region’s most historic and unique natural resources. As one of only a few accepted sanctuaries nationwide, I urge the Administration to swiftly take action to ensure that this nomination receives proper consideration.” 

The application was submitted earlier this year after Gov. Andrew Cuomo endorsed the plan. 

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.