Submitted by Elizabeth Bentley... on December 7, 2012 - 4:16pm
Tonawanda Creek Watershed Committee Celebrates Anniversary
It’s the committee’s Third Year Anniversary! Join us at our next meeting of the Tonawanda Creek Watershed Committee scheduled for Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. at the new U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Building, 1101 Casey Road, Basom, NY 14013. Phone (585) 948-5445 (All meetings are open to the public and you are welcomed to attend.)
- Fran Wagner, President of the Scajaquada Creek Canoe Club will discuss the clubs dedication to improving the environmental health of Scajaquada Creek. The 30 to 40 member club are involved in conducting stream cleanup’s, water quality and wildlife monitoring, and creating access for canoes and kayaks, as well as paddling together on the waterways of Western New York. Several members just participated in the Adirondack Classic, a three-day canoe race.
- Sheila Hess, CEO of Conservation Connects and Executive Director of New York Green will discuss the importance and benefits of partnerships in watershed planning and natural resource conservation. Sheila will review techniques for building relationships and creating synergy with traditional and nontraditional conservation partners.
Great strides have been made in forming a multi-county alliance devoted to the Tonawanda Creek Watershed, which lies within parts of Wyoming, Genesee, Erie and Niagara Counties. On December 2, 2009 a meeting was held at the Corfu Community Center to discuss the feasibility of forming a multi-county Tonawanda Creek Watershed group. This initial meeting was well attended, including officials and interested citizens from: Genesee County: Soil & Water Conservation District, Planning Dept., Health Dept. and Legislature; Towns of Pembroke, Alexander, Bethany and Darien; Tonawanda Band of Seneca’s. Wyoming County: Soil and Water Conservation District, Planning & Development Dept., Emergency Management Dept., Towns of Sheldon and Bennington. Erie County: Soil and Water Conservation District, NRCS, Buffalo-Niagara Riverkeeper, Water Quality Committee, Dept. of Public Works, Environmental Planning/Storm water Coalition, UB Law Environmental Attorney, Towns of Clarence and Amherst. Niagara County: Town of Royalton. Regional: NYS Soil & Water Conservation Committee, Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council, Lake Ontario Coastal Initiative, and US EPA Region 2.
“A lot of work is already going on separately. We need to connect and make a coordinated effort,” said Mark Gaston, District Manager of Erie County SWCD.
A large list of concerns and goals for the watershed were expressed, including water quality, erosion and sedimentation control, stream bank stabilization, flood control, habitat protection and recreational use.
By nearly unanimous consensus, it was decided to proceed with formation of a Tonawanda Creek Watershed Committee. “We must identify stakeholders and make sure they are involved. Communication is vital,” said Paul Fuhrmann of the Erie County Water Quality Committee, adding “The database of knowledge of this diverse group is invaluable”.
If you are unable to attend but are interested in joining this effort or have any questions, please send email to [email protected]  or contact Elizabeth Bentley-Huber at Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District at 585-343-2362 or at [email protected] . View our website at http://tonawandacreek.shutterfly.com