The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy works to preserve and enhance the water quality, scenic beauty and ecological health of the lakes, streams, wetlands and watersheds of the Chautauqua Region.
Some of our priority projects include:
- The Cassadaga Lakes Nature Park. CWC is poised to purchase 77 acres of land on Upper Cassadaga Lake, including 26 acres of lakeshore wetlands. The site filters runoff from 1,800 acres of farms and roadways upstream, and the site will provide recreational and educational opportunities for the public.
- Clear Waters Land Conservation Program. CWC works with property owners to permanently conserve sensitive wetlands and lake tributaries to reduce the amount of plant- and algae-promoting nutrients to our lakes. Under the Clear Waters Land Conservation Program, CWC is working to conserve 33 acres of forested floodplain on Goose Creek in Ashville, 49 acres of forested Cheney Creek stream corridor upstream from Cheney Point, a steep Chautauqua Lake shore land slope on state Route 394 and the crown of Chautauqua, a northern Chautauqua County escarpment that includes gorges, glens, wetlands, streams and forests that feed the streams that feed Chautauqua Lake’s tributaries.
- Tributary Conservation and Enhancement Program. Working with property owners, partnering with local governments and agencies and leveraging state funds, CWC works to locate the sources of pollution in our watersheds and address those problems. Through our Tributary Conservation and Enhancement Program, we work to remove sources of pollution from streams and streambanks, improve streambanks and stream corridors, plant buffers along waterways and create conservation easements along waterways to stem the flow of nutrients and nutrient-carrying sediment through our watersheds and into our waterways.
- Conservation Easements. Conservation easements are a tool for land trusts like the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy to work with land owners to permanently preserve portions of their properties while still maintaining ownership of the property for hunting, recreation, timbering, maple syrup harvesting and more. The CWC currently holds one of Chautauqua County’s only conservation easements, along the Chautauqua Lake shoreline at the Lake Chautauqua Lutheran Center. We continually seek out opportunities to work with property owners on conservation easements to protect our watersheds.