To improve the Health of Sodus Bay we need to restore Wetland areas

They are formed by the six major tributaries which empty into Sodus Bay.

SOS works to obtain funding and approval for restoration projects that will enhance the functionality of these wetland areas.

Additionally, SOS proposes promoting the selective and intelligent reintroduction of beavers into the environment to build and maintain dams that serve to filter out pollutants from water shed sources.

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 Help us Preserve, Protect and Improve Great Sodus Bay – make a one-time or a recurring contribution to SOS. Just click on the button to DONATE NOW!      (Secure donations are processed through Network For Good)

 Wetlands Around Sodus Bay – Threats and Solutions

The Great Lakes Basin was formed about ten thousand (10,000) years ago.  That includes Great Sodus Bay and the area that now contains its watershed and attendant wetland areas.  There are six tributaries that discharge into the Bay and each has developed its own wetland area:  Sodus Creek East, Sodus Creek West, First, Second and Third Creeks and Clark Creek.  Beginning with their initial discharge to the Bay, they started depositing detritus, sediments and nutrients into the Bay.  Meadow marsh, an emergent zone, submerged macrophytes, algae and all types of fauna followed.

"Today we have wetlands that are mature with monocultures of cattails,

water lilies, and hardened, channelized water courses.  The ability of these wetland areas to function for the benefit of the Bay and Lake Ontario has been significantly diminished.” 

David Scudder

Third Creek, Sodus Bay, NY

Why pursue wetland restoration?

In the struggle to meet the challenges of Blue/Green algae outbreaks a healthy wetland can be our best defense.  Almost 50% of nutrient loading into the bay comes from tributaries and land areas surrounding the shoreline. 

A healthy wetland acts as a filter for the watershed including the tributaries leading to the open bay waters.    A properly functioning wetland slows the progress of the upland drainage and allows sediments carrying the nutrients to spread over the associated vegetation and reduces the amount of loading that would otherwise flow into the bay.

Second Creek, photo by Larisa Belliveau

Second Creek, photo by Larisa Belliveau –  an example of a stream that is marginally enabling filtration. Water is flowing through without spreading over the vegetation. Click on the image to enlarge

What’s the problem?

The wetlands associated with our three primary tributaries (Sodus Creek East, Third Creek and Second Creek) are not functioning in a manner that supports the healthy process described above.  Over the years, the flow of water has channelized the path of the streams i.e. the streambed is hard surface, the level of flow is relatively deep thus the filtration effect is not occurring.  In periods of heavy rainfall the sediment is not trapped or slowed; it proceeds along the path of the stream and empties directly into the bay.  

Please click on the image to enlarge

What can be done?

Several projects to restore wetlands have been undertaken around Lake Ontario.  The most publicized of these is Braddocks Bay, which represents major effort and costs in the millions.  Less expensive, but nonetheless effective projects have taken place around the eastern lake shoreline.

Most projects of this type involve a variety of actions e.g. rerouting of the stream path, excavation of portions of the vegetation (“potholes”) and channels from the main stream path into the vegetative areas.  Again, all of these approaches have the objective of slowing the flow of the water and allowing the filtration to occur.

Example of excavation – – digging of potholes to allow capturing of stream flow

Substantial efforts by Save Our Sodus, DEC, and the Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District during the last few years have helped to reduce water chestnuts growth around Second Creek.

The danger that water chestnuts present to Sodus Bay is that they form impenetrable floating mats of vegetation. The density of the mats can severely limit light penetration into the water and reduce or eliminate the growth of native aquatic plants beneath the canopy. That in turn can result in reduced levels of dissolved oxygen in the water, impact other aquatic organisms, and potentially lead to fish kills.

The Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Farm Services Agency (FSA), Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and Wayne County Water Quality Coordinating Committee (WQCC) have worked with farms in the watershed to incorporate best management practices for the betterment of water quality throughout the watershed, including Sodus Bay and ultimately Lake Ontario.

Sodus Bay Farms aerial

Farms around Sodus Bay

SOS proposes promoting the intelligent reintroduction of beavers

into the environment to build and maintain dams that serve to filter out pollutants from water shed sources. 

The beaver, more than any other animal, is responsible for creating fertile landscapes across North America. A growing number of scientists, conservationists and grass-roots environmentalists have come to regard beavers as overlooked tools in reversing the effects of global warming and world-wide water shortages.

Watch the PBS documentary to find out why!

Please click on Full Screen icon next to Vimeo logo to watch on Full Screen

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Sodus Bay, NY – Trends In Water Quality Report, 2013

SODUS BAY, NY – TRENDS IN WATER QUALITY, 2013 REPORT  was prepared by Rachel Radicello in collaboration with SUNY ESF, Save Our Sodus Inc., and the Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District.
The report outlines the current state of the bay and highlights improving or declining trends in water quality.

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Sodus Bay, NY Trends in Water Quality Report, 2013

The Great Sodus Embayment Preservation Plan, 2007

This comprehensive 138 page report addresses the following issues:

  • Management options for Sodus Bay’s weed problem
  • Factors behind the eutrophication of Sodus Bay
  • Bathymetric survey – plotting the bay’s water depths and bottom contours
  • The hydrology of Sodus Bay
  • The influx of pollutants to the Bay
  • Recommended management practices for Sodus Bay and its watershed

Please Click on the image to open a PDF file in a separate window or Right Click and Save As to save to your hard drive

The Great Sodus Embayment Preservation Plan, 2007
DONATE NOW

Save Our Sodus works on Your behalf.

Help us Preserve, Protect and Improve Great Sodus Bay – make a one-time or a recurring contribution to SOS.  Secure donations are processed through Network For Good