Protecting Seneca Lake
In upstate New York, winemakers and farmers fight to keep their water clean •
Winemakers and farmers unite around a cause
In January of 2015, a group of winemakers and organic farmers set a long wooden harvest table on the snowy ground just outside the Crestwood gas facility near the southern tip of Seneca Lake in upstate New York. They loaded the table with fresh bread, bottles of wine and cider, sauerkraut made with cabbage and carrots, meatballs from grass-fed cows. There was maple syrup, honey, and locally foraged mushrooms. As the sun came up, they shared a meal and waited for the trucks to come.
The people around the table were protesting Crestwood’s plan to expand its natural gas storage in the abandoned salt caverns beneath Seneca Lake. The plan would not only turn the caverns into unlined storage tanks for three highly pressurized products of fracking, but also transform the Finger Lakes into a gas-storage hub for the entire Northeast. “What we were saying was, this is