Waterkeeper Alliance Welcomes Chautauqua-Conewango Consortium

New Affiliate to Protect Local Water

The world’s largest and fastest growing nonprofit solely focused on clean water, the Waterkeeper Alliance, has welcomed the Chautauqua-Conewango Consortium as a new Waterkeeper Affiliate.

In its role of fighting for clean water worldwide, the Waterkeeper Alliance connects and mobilizes over 300 Waterkeeper groups. As chair of the Chautauqua-Conewango Consortium, local resident and educator Melanie Smith will lead the group’s work to protect and preserve the entirety of the Conewango Creek watershed by combining firsthand knowledge of the waterway with an unwavering commitment to the community’s rights to clean water and environmental justice. 

“The Chautauqua-Conewango Consortium will have an incredibly important job,” said Marc Yaggi, Executive Director of Waterkeeper Alliance. “Waterkeeper Affiliates defend their communities against anyone who threatens their right to clean water, from law-breaking polluters to irresponsible government officials. Until our public agencies have the means necessary to protect us from polluters, and the will to enforce the law, there will always be a great need for people like the Consortium to fight for our right to clean water.” 

The Chautauqua-Conewango Consortium will be an advocate for Conewango Creek, its lakes and its tributaries, working to protect and restore water quality through community action and enforcement. Smith, chair of the group, stated: “Our Waterkeeper Affiliate’s aim is to provide strong advocacy that will result in clean water for all citizens, whether they rely on it for drinking or recreation and to maintain the ecological integrity of the waterways within the Conewango Creek watershed.”

The Chautauqua-Conewango Consortium is sponsored by the Conewango Creek Watershed Association. The Consortium will work on water-related issues affecting the water bodies included in the Conewango Creek watershed.  Those water bodies include Chautauqua, Cassadaga and Bear Lakes, the Chadakoin River, and Cassadaga Creek in New York, as well as all of the headwaters and the main stem of Conewango Creek. A main goal of the Consortium is to be the voice of protection for the region’s water, both surface and ground, and the creatures who depend on it. This will be achieved utilizing research-based materials which will guarantee factual information to the public. The Consortium will also provide a means for the public to report citizen science or improper practices. Visit the Consortium’s website at cccwaters.org for more information and to learn how to get involved.

Waterkeeper Alliance is a global movement uniting Waterkeeper Organizations and Affiliates around the world, focusing citizen action on issues that affect our waterways, from pollution to climate change. Waterkeepers patrol and protect over 2.5 million square miles of rivers, lakes and coastlines in the Americas, Europe, Australia, Asia, and Africa. For more information about the global organization please visit: www.waterkeeper.org

3 Million Pounds of Aquatic Vegetation Harvested from Chautauqua Lake

And the Work is Just Getting Started

Lakewood, NY — The past two months have been productive for the Chautauqua Lake Association, and the work is just getting started. July is expected to be even more productive with the expansion to a third site to efficiently maintain Chautauqua Lake’s ecology.

To date this season, the Lakewood and Long Point crews have removed 183 truck loads of aquatic vegetation from Chautauqua Lake, totaling more than 3 million pounds. Last week alone the CLA crews removed 500,00 pounds of vegetation from the lake. Starting their summer season two weeks early this year, the Long Point crew worked from the Village Casino along Lakeside Drive, moving south towards the Phillips Mills/Colburn area, and the Lakewood crew completed the area from Greenhurst to Fluvanna, then moved on towards Celoron. Other areas harvested throughout June by the CLA include Ashville Bay, Stow, Shore Acres, Burtis Bay, and the southern basin.

In addition to weed management, the CLA shoreline crews have assisted lakefront owners with the burden of cleaning their properties and offering weed disposal services. The shoreline crews started off June clearing woody debris from Chautauqua Lake and worked their way up the east side of the lake through Ashville Bay and Lakewood. 

“The May and June work has been extremely productive,” said Douglas Conroe, CLA executive director. “We have been able to open areas for people which have not been able to be opened before (such as canals) because we started earlier this year, but July is going to be a major operation.”

This year, CLA crews operating out of Mayville, Long Point and Lakewood will work in a circular route within the north and south basins throughout the duration of the summer. Implementing this new strategy will increase the efficiency and overall impact of the CLA lake maintenance program. 

Each week a new work plan is published on the CLA website which includes a map outlining the anticipated route and location for each of the crews. To preview the weekly work plan, maps and updated work reports, please visit ChautauquaLakeAssociation.org or @ChautauquaLakeAssociation on Facebook.