Alliance Announces Next Steps in Local Funding Assistance for 2021 Chautauqua Lake & Watershed Projects

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The Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance) has once again partnered with local foundations and the County of Chautauqua to offer 2021 local funding assistance opportunities to its members via its Consolidated Local Funding Program. This program was established in 2018, and is used to identify, prioritize, and fund projects and programs to protect and improve water quality in Chautauqua Lake and its watershed through a balanced approach of short-term and long-term management. The funding opportunity, which was exclusively available to Alliance members, was announced on July 23, 2020, with applications due on September 24, 2020. Alliance staff were available to assist members with their applications throughout the submission period.

The Alliance is pleased to announce it has received 28 applications representing 12 member organizations requesting approximately $2.7 million dollars to implement a blend of watershed and in-lake projects in 2021. These applications are in the process of being independently evaluated by the Alliance staff, a subset of Alliance Committee members, and outside consultants from EcoLogic LLC and Anchor QEA using the Alliance’s recently updated Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) Tool. The MCA Tool was updated by EcoLogic LLC and Anchor QEA in September 2020 utilizing input from Alliance members and other lake and watershed stakeholders.

Last year, in partnership with the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, the Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation, The Lenna Foundation, the Gebbie Foundation, and the County, the Alliance awarded $695,000 towards the implementation of 15 member-led projects in 2020 through this local grant program. Projects included stormwater and erosion mitigation, education, nutrient and macrophyte monitoring, invasive species monitoring and management, equipment acquisition, targeted herbicide treatments, and lake-wide harvesting and near-shore cleanup. Over the past two years, the Alliance in partnership with the County and local foundations has awarded nearly $1 Million to help fund Alliance Member-led projects and programs aimed at improving Chautauqua Lake and its watershed.

We are encouraged by the increased number of applications received for 2021 and would like to thank those who applied. After the initial technical review, applications will then be reviewed by the Alliance Board, with initial funding recommendations expected in late 2020, and final allocations anticipated in early 2021. The Alliance extends its sincere thanks to its funding partners – the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, the Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation, The Lenna Foundation, the Gebbie Foundation, and the County of Chautauqua – for their continued support of the Alliance mission and commitment to the health and vibrancy of Chautauqua Lake for its many uses and users.

For more information regarding the Alliance, please contact Vince Horrigan at (716) 661-8918.