A watershed can be defined as a catch basin in which all water that lands in the basin eventually ends up in one specific delivery point (in this case Cayuga Lake). The Cayuga Lake Watershed can be broken down into 19 major subwatersheds (18 tributary based subwatersheds and the remainder in direct drainage) and then further broken down into 46 minor subwatersheds based on the network of larger tributaries (streams) flowing to Cayuga Lake.
A plan based on watershed boundaries rather than political boundaries can better target polluted or threatened areas for protection or restoration. This RPP calls for a watershed-based approach to planning and management that considers the Lake and its drainage area as a whole, interconnected, complex system. At the same time it is necessary to break down this complex watershed into subwatersheds to increase the ability to identify specific pollution sources and focus efforts.
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CLW IO 2004