Wednesday, February 20, 2019
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Bemus Bay Herbicide Application

Earlier this year, a group of property owners engaged the Town of Ellery and Village of Bemus Point to submit a permit application to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for a permit to use the herbicides Aquathol K (Endothall) and Navigate (2-4 D) on the submerged aquatic vegetation in the Bemus Bay area of Chautauqua Lake.

The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy has empathy for the property owners whose use and enjoyment of the lake has been disrupted by dense patches of vegetation, potentially harmful algal blooms and dead plants that wash ashore emitting putrid odors during the summer months. In fact, many of our directors and members also live along the shores of Chautauqua Lake and are well aware of the lake's seasonal fluctuations. Thus, we understand the property owners' frustration, as well as their desire for relief.

However, the CWC also has concerns about the permit application/use of herbicides in the lake – namely, that the application does not include an environmental impact statement, that the application does not demonstrate that the treatment will achieve the applicants' intended outcome and that the application does not demonstrate the necessity to use herbicides in 2017 based upon plant cover (density) and percentage of non-native invasive species.

Because the CWC is a lakeshore landowner near the intended treatment area, CWC was given the opportunity to make written comments to the NYSDEC about the application. Our letter to the NYSDEC can be viewed in its entirety by clicking here:

The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy will continue to work with lakefront property owners to seek practices that will reduce nuisance conditions and reduce the inflow of nutrients and sediments into the lake, which is the primary long-term solution to preventing excessive algae and aquatic plant growth.

Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy
413 North Main Street
Jamestown, NY 14701