4th Chautauqua Lake Clean-up held

Photo by Ron Keeney Volunteers with the US Forest Service and Conewango Creek Watershed Association arrive with a final load of trash during the fourth annual Chautauqua Lake Cleanup on Saturday, May 19, 2018. A total of 12 cubic yards of trash, 1020 lbs of metals, and 54 tires were collected by 21 hardy volunteers.

The fourth annual Chautauqua Lake Cleanup was held on Saturday, May 19 from 8 am to 2:30 p.m. Despite dreary and intermittent rainy weather, a robust crew of 21 volunteers scoured the shorelines by various watercraft to collect 54 tires, 12 cubic yards of trash and 1,020 pounds of mixed metals. The metals were recycled, and the tires were taken to the Chautauqua County Landfill to be properly disposed.

This year’s cleanup was co-hosted by Conewango Creek Watershed Association (CCWA), Chautauqua Lake Association (CLA), Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy (CWC), Chautauqua Co. Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (CLWMA). Once again, the Chautauqua Lake Fishing Association provided its property for registration and donated coffee and doughnuts in the morning and cooked a hot dog and hamburger lunch after the cleanup. The staging area was moved to McCrea Point Park in Jamestown this year for easier transport of trash and boats on and off the water. The County of Chautauqua registered this cleanup as one of their official “Earth Day” organized events, which allows for the disposing of trash and tires at no cost. Other agencies and businesses partnering in this cleanup effort included the US Forest Service–Allegheny National Forest, which provided a jet boat and crew, Rock of WNY, which provided a barge with crane, and Bestway Disposal, which provided a 30 cubic yard dumpster. The CLA provided 2 barges, a crane and crew. The Conservation District provided a dump truck for tires and volunteers. The barges and the jet boat were instrumental in hoisting some very large and heavy items out of the lake, including two large wooden docks, several concrete piers, hundreds of pounds of old railroad materials, large tractor-sized tires, and other industrial and commercial waste.

Sue Nielsen, CCWA board member stated, “Thank you to all of our partners that have come on board the last few years. The addition of the dump truck, jet boat, barges and cranes have been critical additions to removing large items efficiently, reducing how many times volunteers must handle the same material while reducing the risk of injury to our volunteers. We look forward to working with everyone again next year.”