On a crisp, late November afternoon, several members of the Syracuse CFACT chapter headed out of town to go lakeside and visit the Onondaga Lake Cleanup Visitors Center. The lake has been horribly polluted for over a century and because of this, the Onondaga carries itself like an urban legend, with nearly all New Yorkers avoiding the lake for fear of what could happen.
CFACT went to visit this center to learn more about the innovative processes by which the lake is being cleaned and how the relationship between business and government is carrying it out. One of the chief consultants on the project walked the group through the visitors center, explaining the project and answering questions.
Honeywell, a large industrial company, has spearheaded the efforts to clean up this lake for over a decade. The U.S. government got involved in the early 2000’s, pushing the company to clean up the mess. Although CFACT does not support the use of force or coercion by the government to promote action, the company agreed to take on the challenge. What was interesting though, was how much control the company had over deciding how to clean it up and some of the practices they were implementing to ensure a sustainable future for the lake. Through technological innovation, Honeywell has come up with many different ways that private businesses could solve issues regarding habitat reclamation and water filtration on other similar projects.
CFACT was appreciative of the opportunity to hear how one company is using the newest, most innovative practices in doing their part to make for a more environmentally friendly community.