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October 1, 2009 - 9:42pm

Effort under way to create a Tonawanda Creek Watershed Committee

Here's a letter we received from the Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District, which is seeking participation in creating the Tonawanda Creek Watershed Committee.

It's written by district technician and coordinator Elizabeth Bentley-Huber.

Tonawanda Creek is our county’s priority watershed. Presently there is not a Tonawanda Creek Watershed Committee in Genesee County. My goal is to form a whole watershed effort coordinating a variety of people and organizations to work together to address common interests and concerns.

I would like to reach out beyond the political boundaries. Stakeholder identification is a key component to the formation of a watershed committee, to ensure that all interests in the watershed are represented. These stakeholders can help indentify other stakeholders who may have not been identified yet.

I am contacting you and other departments/agencies/organizations in anticipation that you may be interested or know someone in your field of expertise that would represent your department/agency/organization on a watershed committee for the entire Tonawanda Creek watershed including Erie, Niagara, Wyoming and Genesee counties.

Watershed partnerships are important to effective watershed management. Established watershed partnerships are an invaluable resource for a newly forming group and these existing partnerships can provide answers to many questions a new group may have when forming.

It is important right now to begin with the existing groups within the watershed. Several people have been in contact with me expressing interest in participating in a Tonawanda Creek Watershed Committee, including an environmental program manager and a Tribal representative, both from the Environmental Protection Agency and an engineer with the Department of Environmental Conservation.

I also have been in contact with Erie, Niagara and Wyoming County Soil & Water Conservation districts. Aside from promoting better communication between counties, there is a need for technical advisement to provide general environmental information, make resources available and involve people with more expertise in specific fields in their area.

I would like to have a preliminary meeting with department/agency/organization representatives before conducting a formal meeting opened to the public due to the amount of information existing on the Tonawanda Creek Watershed.

Please contact me with any questions or concerns at (585) 343-2362. I will be happy to speak with you. If possible I would like to have the preliminary meeting in the first week of November. Please let me know as soon as possible. Thank You.

Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District

Attention: Elizabeth Bentley-Huber
USDA Center, 29 Liberty St., Suite 3, Batavia, NY 14020-3247
Office (585) 343-2362, Fax (585) 345-1815



 

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