Almost all of the surface and ground water in Wayne County that is not intercepted for consumption eventually ends up in Lake Ontario. Wayne County has two primary drainage basins:
Lake Ontario Direct Drainage and Seneca, Oneida, Oswego River Drainage Basin(via the NYS Barge Canal).
Lake Ontario Direct Drainage essentially drains the northern half of Wayne County. All of the streams in the Towns of Ontario, Williamson, Sodus, Huron and Wolcott drain north into Lake Ontario. Parts of the Towns of Walworth, Marion, Arcadia, Lyons, Rose and Butler feed these tributaries. The Seneca, Oneida, Oswego Drainage Basin is all the water from all of the other streams originating in or passing through Wayne County must travel through the Oswego River before entering Lake Ontario. More simply, everything within the Basin west of the Oswego River, not draining directly into the river, empties into the Seneca River before it joins the Oneida River to form the Oswego River. Water from eight of the Finger Lakes, the Barge Canal and other tributaries from Monroe, Cayuga, Onondaga, Ontario, Seneca and Wayne counties travel some distance through the Seneca River. All told, the Seneca River sub-basin accounts for 3,468 square miles of the total 5,122 square miles of the Oswego River Basin. The watershed area of Wayne County makes up a small fraction of the Seneca River sub-basin.
Conservation through agriculture is a huge part of Wayne County and the lands that these waters flow through.
Status of Agriculture in Wayne County
Wayne County is one of top five producing counties for New York State in soybeans, dry beans, sweet and tart cherries, peaches, pears, plums, asparagus, carrots, onions, apples, wheat, and potatoes. In addition, Wayne County is the number one county for fruit and berries in New York State.
In 2003, there were 165,213 acres in farms of the county’s 386,696 total acres (43%). There are 904 farms in the county averaging 183 acres per farm. Wayne County is the 5th largest Ag producing county and the 2nd largest crop producing county in New York State. Wayne County ranks 10th in the state for number of farms and 20th for amount of land in farms. Wayne County ranks 1st in New York State for apple production and 3rd across the nation.
24% Animal Production
21% Fruit Production
11% Grain Production
8% Vegetable Production
8% Dairy Farms
7% Nursery & Greenhouse
39% Fruits & Nuts 1st
14% Dairy Products 36th
12% Nursery & Greenhouse 4th
9% Vegetables 12th
8% Grains & Dry Beans 6th
18% Other Products