Skip to main content

Genesee RiverWatch

Genesee RiverWatch seeks nominations by June 30 for environmental leadership awards

By Press Release

Press release:

Genesee RiverWatch is seeking public nominations of individuals, organizations, projects or events for this year’s Elizabeth Thorndike Environmental Leadership Awards. 

The nonprofit organization is devoted to preserving and promoting the Genesee River and its tributaries.

These honors recognize significant contributions to the RiverWatch Mission of "championing solutions that improve the water quality of the Genesee and initiatives that connect people to the River." A separate category of the awards recognizes volunteers whose work on behalf of Genesee RiverWatch has significantly aided it in furthering its Mission.

Awards are given in honor or Elizabeth Thorndike, longtime supporter of Genesee RiverWatch and one of the founders of its predecessor organization, the Center for Environmental Information.

Past award recipients have included: the Oatka Creek Watershed Committee, Seneca Park Zoo, City of Rochester, Genesee Headwaters Watershed Association, Kaeti Stoss/Delta Environmental, Mallards Dairy, and volunteers Chris Widmaier and Juliana Lanz.

Nomination forms are available on the Genesee RiverWatch website at and must be returned by June 30.

Nominees must have demonstrated success in (1) improving the water quality of the Genesee River Basin; (2) creating environmental, recreational, and economic assets for their communities; and/or (3) connecting people to the river by encouraging them to explore, experience, and celebrate the river.

In recognition of current health advisories, Genesee RiverWatch plans to videotape the selected awardees and their work for presentation on its website, on YouTube, and in selected media outlets.

Genesee RiverWatch improves the water quality of the Genesee River and its tributaries to create environmental, recreational and economic assets for its communities. We also connect people to the river, encouraging them to explore, experience and celebrate the river.

Registration is open for free, virtual Genesee River Basin Summit

By Press Release
From Genesee RiverWatch:
The free, virtual 2021 Genesee River Basin Summit is open for registration. Much of Genesee County is in the Genesee River Watershed.
This year, they are organizing our “Summit” as a series of online workshops to be held in April and May.
The topics will be:
  • We Need Trees – April 7th / 8:30 to 10 a.m. A look at the growing need for trees for conservation projects and what can be done to satisfy that need. Additionally, the carbon sequestration implications will be discussed.
  • What’s Going On? – April 14th / 8:30 to 10 a.m. A review of past, present and future water quality improvement projects developed and implemented by Genesee RiverWatch in partnership with various basin stakeholders.
  • Got Access? – May 5th / 8:30 to 10 a.m. Presenters will discuss current improvement plans for car-top boat access to the Genesee River basin followed by questions and answers with a panel.
  • Let’s Plan a Canoe/Kayak Trip - May 12th / 8:30 to 10 a.m. Basin outfitters and stakeholder groups will provide guidance and tips on how to plan your next trip on the river.

To register, click here.

New Genesee River Blueway Map is ready for canoeists and kayakers to explore and connect

By Press Release

Press release:

A new Genesee River Blueway Map is ready for use by canoeists and kayakers who wish to explore and connect with the Genesee River.

The downloadable Overview Map (pdf) shows current river access locations from Pennsylvania to Lake Ontario.

A web-based Interactive Map gives users detailed information about each access point, including photos of the sites. Printed copies of the Overview Map will be available at access points over the next few months as signage and map holders are installed.

Genesee RiverWatch partnered with Genesee River Wilds in Allegany County and the Genesee Valley Conservancy in Geneseo to develop the Blueway Map.

The new map updates a 2004 version produced by the Sierra Club Rochester Regional Group.

Today’s map adds new sites and removes those which have fallen into disrepair and are unsafe to use. The addition of an expanded online map will allow information to be updated frequently and to include data on river conditions and nearby services that would not fit on a printed document.

The work was funded by a $25,000 grant from New York Sea Grant and financial and in-kind support from the Greater Allegany County Chamber of Commerce.

As part of this project, Genesee RiverWatch has developed a prioritized list of sites for new and improved access based on input from stakeholders and citizens, aerial imaging, GIS, the work of others, and site visits.

This work is summarized in the Genesee River Canoe/Kayak Access Improvement Plan 2019 and will be used as guidance for future funding applications.

Additional Information

Genesee River Facts

The Genesee River flows 157 miles from its sources near Gold, Pennsylvania to Lake Ontario at Rochester, New York. The Genesee Basin drains approximately 2,500 square miles in Monroe, Livingston, Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming, Ontario, Steuben, Allegany and Cattaraugus counties in New York and Potter County in Pennsylvania. Twenty-four sub-watersheds of the Genesee contain 5,048 miles of streams.

Current land use within the watershed is approximately 52-percent agricultural, 40-percent forest, 4-percent urban, 2-percent wetlands, and 2-percent other developed lands.

The Genesee River has been shaped by its glacial history. The last glacier receded around 12,000 years ago, leaving the spectacular Letchworth gorge and magnificent waterfalls, but also unconsolidated soils that erode easily and produce approximately 420,000 tons of river sediment each year.

Genesee RiverWatch

Genesee RiverWatch Inc. improves the water quality of the Genesee River and its tributaries to create environmental, recreational, and economic assets for its communities. We also connect people to the river, encouraging them to explore, experience and celebrate the river.

Contact George Thomas at (585) 233-6086 or

Genesee River Wilds

Genesee River Wilds is an organization of like-minded people whose goal is to develop the use of the upper Genesee River for outdoor recreation and enjoyment of the natural environment. We focus on improving existing facilities, constructing new infrastructure, expanding trails, adding parks and on balancing development with ecological conservation.

Contact Thomas Rhett at:

Genesee Valley Conservancy

The Genesee Valley Conservancy is a not-for-profit land trust that strives to conserve important natural resources and strengthen connections between people and the land in the Genesee River watershed.

Since 1990, GVC has worked to permanently protect important wildlife habitat, working farms and forest land, and expansive natural areas within Livingston, Wyoming, Allegany, Ontario, Steuben, and Monroe counties.

In addition to directly conserving land, Genesee Valley Conservancy facilitates sound land-use planning amongst municipalities for the benefit of the community. Genesee Valley Conservancy also owns three nature preserves, open to the public year-round for outdoor recreation such as hiking and canoeing and hosts educational lectures and walks on protected property.

Authentically Local