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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New York, Central & Western NY

Spotlight on Onondaga Lake

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  • This brief article introduces the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps, which worked with Honeywell to clean up, remove contaminants, and rebuild habitats along the lake's tributaries and southwestern shoreline. 
  • Students will learn about the importance of becoming stewards of the environment and the positive effects of volunteering via climate action.
Teaching Tips


  • The length of this article makes it an easily-prepped substitute teacher lesson resource. 
  • Helpful sidebars illustrate bird species affected by the event in the story.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Vocabulary is somewhat rigorous, so a definition list or graphic organizer will be helpful.
  • Teachers and students can share this article via social media.
  • If students are unfamiliar with this area, it may help to point it out on a map before reading the article.


  • This article is an excellent introduction to a conservation field trip of a lake, river, or shoreline clean-up.
  • English teachers can have students read the article and research volunteer opportunities to clean up local lakes, rivers, and other shorelines.
  • Science teachers can have students work together in small groups to research how to be better environmental stewards. 
  • There are links at the bottom of the webpage for readers to learn more about how they can help, so teachers can have students find the closest Audubon Center or chapter in the area to learn about local efforts.
Scientist Notes
This resource from Audubon New York introduces restoration efforts in Onondaga Lake, located near Syracuse, New York. The text is clear, and the resource outlines wetland restoration, cleanup efforts, and improvements to wastewater treatment infrastructure. The article then ties these efforts to their impact on bird populations. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems
      • HS-ESS3-C.1. The sustainability of human societies and the biodiversity that supports them requires responsible management of natural resources. (HS-ESS3-3)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-7 Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.8.5 Analyze in detail the structure of a specific paragraph in a text, including the role of particular sentences in developing and refining a key concept.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • Related Resources


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    • Good article regarding environmental stewardship and climate action! Moreover, it's always good to see a resource from the National Audubon Society! 😊😊
      4 days ago