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Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Economic Development
The Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Economic Development invites residents and visitors to learn more about all of the positive initiatives currently underway to address the health of Chautauqua Lake by attending the Chautauqua Lake Rally. The Chautauqua Lake Rally will be held on August 20, 2016 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the Village Casino, 1 Lakeside Dr. in Bemus Point.
“Summer is in full swing on Chautauqua Lake and so are the efforts to improve the environmental health of the lake,” said Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan. “The Chautauqua Lake Rally events are a natural extension of the county’s efforts to bring people together and talk openly about all of the good things happening here on Chautauqua Lake.”
Horrigan will provide opening remarks at the rally and will be followed by remarks from state and local government officials. The rally will feature exhibits from numerous lake-based organizations and local experts will be available to discuss current initiatives and answer questions. There will be informative presentations on the “State of the Lake” by the Chautauqua Lake Association and updates on the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance’s efforts to leverage state and federal dollars for important watershed improvement projects. There will also be an expanded session on septic system inspections and the efforts to sewer the remaining portions of Chautauqua Lake.
“Chautauqua County is experiencing one of the driest summers in decades and as a result Chautauqua Lake is about a foot lower than we would like,” said Chautauqua County Watershed Coordinator Dave McCoy. “There is a considerable amount of shoaling visible at tributaries such as Bemus and Dewittville Creeks. We are working hard to find funding to dredge these and other areas. Water clarity in the north basin has been great, but the Elodea and other aquatic plant species are growing fast.”
McCoy added there has been a considerable amount of effort by the Chautauqua Lake Stakeholders to improve water quality.
“The Chautauqua Institution is currently upgrading its wastewater treatment plant, which will result in significant water quality improvements,” said McCoy. “There are also three wastewater projects that are in the design or planning phases at the North Chautauqua Lake Sewer District, The Town of Chautauqua Sewer District (Chautauqua Heights) and the South and Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer Districts. Together, these projects represent nearly $80 million in environmental infrastructure improvements aimed at improving water quality and public health.”
Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance Executive Director Erin Brickley said her organization is currently overseeing $1.4 million in watershed restoration projects on behalf of Chautauqua County. Projects on Goose, Prendergast, Bemus and Ball Creeks are expected to be constructed this fall with several large projects on Dutch Hollow Creek expected to be constructed in 2017. The Alliance continues to focus on funding needs and has also assisted several member municipalities with applications to the 2016 Round of New York State’s Consolidated Funding Application process.
The Chautauqua Lake Rally is free and open to the public. Breakfast and venue are graciously provided by Andrew Carlson and Professional Hospitality, Inc.
For more information about the 2016 Chautauqua Lake Rally, please contact Chautauqua County Watershed Coordinator Dave McCoy at (716) 661-8915.