Lake Ontario is a big draw for distant and local visitors. Now, the federal government is teaming up with state environmental leaders to keep it that way.
"If you look at the lake it looks beautiful, it looks healthy, it looks exactly like it has for a millennium. But things are changing in the lake," said Congressman Jim Walsh, (R) 25th District.
Congressman Jim Walsh announced he's co-sponsoring a bill that would stop sewage contamination, clean up toxic pollution and restore the wildlife habitat to the Great Lakes. Which means Lake Ontario would reap the benefits.
"Environmental responsibility is everyone's responsibility. We're helping change the way residents view and value one of our precious resources our Great Lakes," said Stephen Johnson, EPA Administrator.
Working with the EPA, Walsh also announced he has secured $400,000 to dredge the Irondequoit Bay, which has been untouched for seven years.
"I think it's a good idea. Prior to that opening over there in Irondequoit Bay 40, 50 years it was like a cesspool. So with this Bay being dredged brings in better water for us," said Jack Gundrum, a boat launch worker.
"Larger boats couldn't get through from the Lake to the Bay from the Bay to the Lake and now they can do that and it's great for them," said Gert Burse, a boat launch worker.
Walsh says the water's vitality and accessibility are a direct effect on the state's economic development. So he's also earmarking an additional $10 million dollars for regular dredging of the bays including Sodus and throughout the Great Lakes Basin.
If the Senate passes the bill, the funds could be available early next year.