The agricultural assessment program allows eligible farmland owners to receive real property assessments based on the value of their land for agricultural production rather than on its development value.  Any assessed value which exceeds the equalized agricultural assessment on the land may qualify for a reduced tax assessment.

Landowners must apply through the local town assessor for an agricultural assessment. Further Information on Agricultural Districts can be found here, contact information for local assessors can be found here.

Do you qualify? Find out by visiting the Soil Group page, there you can find more information about the program and will be able to download a brochure. You may also call our office at 315-946-7200

Have you seen #Waterchestnut while you’re out on the water?” The District kicked off its Water Chestnut hand pull season at the beginning of July Port Bay. With the help of Finger Lakes PRISM team, we were able to remove all of the plants we found out on the water. A crew of four removed about 75 lbs. of water chestnut over the course of the morning and early afternoon. Read More …

Water ChestnutWater chestnut (Trapa natans) can be found this time of year in many of the waterways in Wayne County.  The newest infestation was found in 2018 at Port Bay and is being managed strictly by hand-pulling.  It is major nuisance because these dense mats of rooted vegetation are very difficult to get through in a boat, kayak, canoe, or when swimming. For water quality alone, Water Chestnut completely depletes the oxygen by pressing down from the surface, heating the water columns, and prohibiting water movement because of the long-rooted tendrils beneath the rosette.  Water chestnut spreads by rosette and fruits detaching from the stem and floating to another area and by clinging to floating objects including recreational watercraft, the pads of boat trailers, and fishing equipment. In addition, the dense mats shade out native aquatic plants that provide food and shelter to native fish, waterfowl, and insects. Decomposition of these dense mats causes dissolved oxygen levels that may kill fish and then nutrient recycling causes the next generation to return stronger than before.

#waterqualityupdates #waterchestnut #invasivespecies

What you need to know about Water Chestnut:

*In NY, Water Chestnut is an annual. It does not propagate from fragmentation and can have up to 3 stands in NY

*1 Seed Pod can produce up to 144 plants and stays viable for up to 10 years and even if dislodged and floating can still repropagate.

stem and pod

Water Chestnut Seed Pods

Water Chestnut Seed Pods

*Management techniques vary by waterbody but harvesting this Annual Plant by hand pulling or mechanically the rosette before they produce their seed, mitigates several next generations and will open up waterways for other native vegetation to return creating habitat and flow for better water quality

Currently, New York State Parks Recreation & Historic Preservation & Finger Lakes Partners of Regional Invasive Species Management are partnering with the District to address several areas that cannot be managed by mechanical harvesting in Wayne County to hand-pull under NYSDEC permits. It will take years of management to address some of the seedbeds in Wayne County. Some of the oldest “seedbeds” of water chestnut include East Bay, South of Sodus Bay Bridge, and Second Creek. Thank you to SOS and SBIA for continued efforts in addressing stands on Second Creek, the inlet at the end of Grieg Street in Sodus Point, and Clark Creek.  Without partnership, management would not be possible.


Photo Courtesy: Montezuma Audubon Center

Join Shannon Dermody, from the Department of Environmental Conservation and Horticulture at Finger Lakes Community College. Shannon will be leading participants through an educational evening of learning all about the bats that call New York State their home. You will learn what they eat if they migrate or hibernate, and that bats are not an animal to be afraid of.

Friday, August 6
7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Montezuma Audubon Center
2295 NY-89, Savannah, NY 13146

Fee: $5/child, $10/adult, $30/family.

Shannon has been studying bats for the last six years with various agencies, nonprofits, and educational institutions, and will be sharing her expertise with us. The program will begin indoors with a presentation detailing the nine species of bats found in NY. Once darkness falls, we’ll head outside for a short hike and demonstration of some of the technical equipment used to survey different bat species. Bring a flashlight and insect repellent! Long sleeves and pants may be desired as well.

To register, visit

-Space is limited and pre-paid online reservations are required.

Box Tree Moth

Box Tree Moth Credit: Franziska Bauer – Image may be used for Educational Purposes

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is responding to a significant plant health threat and needs your help. During the spring, a number of U.S. nurseries received potentially infested Canadian boxwood plants with Box Tree Moth. If you purchased any boxwood plants this year/during spring 2021, please inspect them for signs of the moth and report any findings to our local USDA office or State agriculture department. Please inspect boxwood plants and report any findings to our local USDA office or State agriculture department.  —by doing this now it can prevent the moth from infesting America’s boxwoods!

Box tree moth, Cydalima perspectalis, is a destructive pest of ornamental boxwoods (Buxus spp.) in Europe, where it was introduced from Asia. It was first discovered in North America in Toronto, Canada, in the fall of 2018. It has not been previously found in the United States. Unfortunately,  infested shrubs have been showing up at New York State nurseries during spring 2021, despite being inspected and confirmed as free of boxwood tree moth by the source.

The CCE Wayne County Master GardenersThank you for your vigilance and help in preventing the spread of yet another invasive plant pest! Laurie VanNostrand /Consumer Horticulture/Master Gardener Program Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wayne County

Conditions Report from waterfronts of Lake Ontario

Shoreline Algae Development Sodus Bay

Weed breakdown releases phosphorus into waterbody which causes Algae blooms along shallow waters of Sodus Bay.

With spotty storm events throughout the week and an increase of about 2 inches on Lake Ontario, there was a significant amount of water running through the watershed.  Observations below certainly correspond with these weather events and will help with the life cycle of many of the plants and animals in these waterbodies (including humans for recreation and tourism).

– Water turbidity is somewhat strained/green with planktonic algae and suspended particles. This is most likely due to recent rainfall events and upland inputs from the watershed.

What is Planktonic Algae:

– The dominant aquatic plant where we are harvesting is Elodea or Common Waterweed. The dense growth of elodea can interfere with boating and fishing. Coontail and Milfoil are also present. We observed eelgrass in shallow areas.

For more detail on specific plants please review the Submersed Aquatic Vegetation Guide: and Field Guide to Aquatic Plants in NYS

– Detached plant material floating appeared to be fine-stemmed pondweed species and eelgrass. Some of the free-floating plants had roots still intact, suggesting that they are being dislodged by wave/wake action. Watercraft docked for extended periods of time start to collect these floating plants. It’s best to remove these masses as they store heat, deplete dissolved oxygen in the water, and incubate bacteria.

“How do you eat an elephant?”………………………………….One bite at a time…..

By slowly removing plant masses and dispersing them to dry versus immediately piling them, they dry down in less than a day with current daytime heat and are more manageable to rake, compost, or bag and dispose.Composting Techniques: (opens in new tab) 

-With increased rainfall events, be conscious of where you dispose of yard debris and grass clippings. Keep these out of and away from stormwater drains and roadside drainage ways. This adds excessive nutrients to the received waterbody.

Join the Ontario-Wayne Stormwater Coalition and the Ontario County Soil & Water Conservation District for a rain barrel workshop. We will start with a short presentation with a demo on how to build your barrel. We will then help you build your own 55-gallon rain barrel. Installing a rain barrel is an easy way to protect our environment and save money.

A rain barrel collects and stores rainwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost to runoff and diverted to storm drains or streams. The water from your barrel can be used for watering gardens and lawns, washing cars, cleaning outdoor furniture, and the list goes on.

To register, contact Alaina at 585-396-1450 or email

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