Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

STWA

Members
  • Content Count

    85
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

2 Neutral

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. Fears of failure rise as Lake Erie consumes Sturgeon Point Marina Credit to Buffalo News - Original Article - August 14th, 2018 Read entire Article Here. View the full article on STWA website
  2. Be sure to come to our August 16th, 2018 meeting where in addition to our Kids Day events which includes, a DEC guest speaker for the kids, lure painting with Bay Rat Lures, Casting Boards and paracord bracelet making, we will be holding a special Chinese Auction to benefit one of our youth members who recently had an accident and is facing extensive medical treatments. Hot Dogs and Hamburgers will be for sale and a free Sundae Bar will be available for the kids to enjoy. For more information and to RSVP to this event, please contact Amy Plecas at [email protected] Learn More! View the full article on STWA website
  3. Our Special Guest speakers for the July 19th Meeting at the Southtowns Walleye Association Clubhouse are renowned fishermen and hosts of Fishing 411 TV, Mark (aka the “Outdoors Guy”) Romanack and his son, Jake Romanack. Fishing 411 TV Hosted by Mark and Jake Romanack is a nationally syndicated TV show that focuses on education that helps anglers to be more successful on the water. Most episodes are filmed in the Upper Great Lakes region and a host of popular species including walleye, smallmouth bass, king and coho salmon, brook trout, steelhead, lake trout, brown trout, pike, muskie and panfish are featured. Mark Romanack is a veteran outdoor writer and author with 30+ years of experience, 11 printed books on fishing, three E-Books on Kindle and over 3,000 magazine articles to his credit. Jake Romanack is a licensed charter captain, passionate angler and outstanding communicator who has grown up on the Great Lakes fishing for literally everything with fins! Together this father and son team follow their passion for fishing and sharing fishing information with others. Fishing 411 is broadcast nationally on World Fishing Network, the nation’s only fishing only outdoor network. Fishing 411 is also available on-demand at www.carbonTV.com, www.myoutdoorTV.com, www.getoutdoors.com and www.fishing411.net. You will not want to miss this is event, get yourself a seat early! View the full article on STWA website
  4. Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York, Inc. 5895 Southwestern Boulevard, Hamburg, NY 14075 Tel.: 716.649.8202 Fax: 716.649.8237 For Media Inquiries Contact: Brian Plecas Tel.: 716.649.8202 Fax: 716.649.8237 [email protected] HAMBURG, N.Y., – July 1, 2018 – Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York Inc. (SWA) (www.southtownswalleye.org) held its 34th Annual Walleye Tournament from June 9th through June 17th 2018, on the waters of Lake Erie and the Upper Niagara River, with more than $100,000 in cash and prizes at stake, anglers throughout Western New York, multiple states and Canada participated in the nine day event in search of a walleye worthy of the top prize. The Tournament concluded with an awards picnic held at the SWA Clubhouse on June 30th at 4pm with more than 200 people in attendance, the main prizes were awarded to the top 200 fish that weighed in after the nine day event. Top ten honors for the winners went to the following top adult and youth participants within each division. Adult Winners 2018: 1st - Ronald Kucinski Jr. – 11.77 lbs. 2nd - David Levan – 11.44 lbs. 3rd - Kelly Bak – 11.40 lbs. 4th - Billy Joe Defazio – 11.13 lbs. 5th – Tom Barr – 10.40 lbs. 6th - Barry Lichvar - 10.18lbs. 7th - Matthew Williams – 9.80 lbs. 8th - Jason Roth - 9.74 lbs. 9th - Jeff Schenck – 9.67 lbs. 10th - Doug Orton – 9.65 lbs. Youth Winners 2018: 1st - Wyatt Bartoo – 8.51 lbs. 2nd - Samantha Skoczylas – 8.26 lbs. 3rd - Casey Black – 8.03 lbs. 4th - Daniel Fried – 7.90 lbs. 5th - Blake Kenny – 7.77 lbs. 6th - Mitchell Lee – 7.48 lbs. 7th - Tyler Brovata – 7.34 lbs. 8th - Charlie Orsi - 7.30 lbs. 9th - Nathan Wolf - 6.84 lbs. 10th - David Thompson - 6.72 lbs. Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving fishing opportunities in the region for all individuals. With a clear focus on kids, community, conservation and philanthropy, our various programs support these pillars for a strong future generation of outdoorsmen and women and our fishery. To learn more about the club, please visit us at www.southtownswalleye.org or stop by our facility located at 5895 Southwestern Boulevard, Hamburg, NY 14075, Tel.: 716.649.8202, Fax: 716.649.8237, meetings are held the third Thursday of each month at 7:30pm and are open to the public. View the full article on STWA website
  5. Attention any person who has signed up on our website after May 15th, 2018. Please note that you have only submitted your membership application and you are not registered for the 2018 tournament. You are only registered as a member of the club. All tournament online sign-ups ended on May 15th. To sign-up for the tournament you must come to the club on Friday, June 8th, from Noon-8 pm to register. If you do not join the tournament by 8 pm tonight you will not be eligible for tournament participation or prizes. You must bring your PayPal receipt as Proof of Membership Purchase. We appreciate your participation. Thank you. SWA Tournament Committee View the full article on STWA website
  6. until
    Southtowns Walleye Association Annual Tournament Click Here to Visit Our Tournament Sponsors 2018 Tournament News The Official Southtowns Walleye Association Tournament Dates are June 9th through 17th, 2018 It has come to the attention of the Tournament Committee that there have been many questions and rumors regarding the upcoming 2018 tournament and the changes that have been implemented this year. This article will answer many of these questions that you may have. Firstly we will list the changes and or improvements that have been made and then explain them in detail below. Changes and or improvements made in 2018 versus 2017: 1st - Increased the tournament entry fee by $15.00 (Change) 2nd - Increased Cash Payouts by 68 percent (Improvement) 3rd - Weigh station locations (Change) 4th - Existing Calcutta and the addition of a new Calcutta (Change/Improvement) 5th - Corporate Days (Change) The $15.00 increase in the tournament fee. Why was this implemented? The tournament committee wanted to increase the payouts to participants versus the payouts that had been in place for years, this small increase and sponsor monies we obtained were able to make this happen and quite substantially. We know you feel $15.00 dollars is a big jump, but when you look below and see the increases that your money went towards, we didn't increase it by that much to hit these prize values and it is still less than the price of 2 lures. We have had a 68% increase in the total cash payouts for 2018, this in itself is a great improvement over previous tournaments, and as you can see we increased them all substantially through all places, not just the top end. New 2018 Payout Structure 2017 Payout Structure 1st- $6500.00 1st-- $5000.00 2nd - $4000.00 2nd - $3000.00 3rd - $2000.00 3rd - $1000.00 4th - $1600.00 4th-10th - $ 500.00 5th - $1500.00 11th - 50th - $100.00 6th - $1400.00 51st -200th - $ 50.00 7th - $1300.00 8th - $1200.00 9th - $1100.00 10th - $1000.00 11th - 15th - $500.00 16th- 200th - $100.00 This gives you a side by side comparison of this year’s payouts and last year’s payouts, not bad. Weigh stations location changes. After looking at the number of fish brought in at each station in previous years and the number of people required to man each location we have decided to close the Small Boat Harbor and Sturgeon Point weigh stations and in doing so we will be opening the Southtowns Walleye Clubhouse as a weigh station, which will be open from 2pm until 8pm every day. This was done in order to get people out fishing the tournament more often, for example after work or school and still be able to weigh in your catch without having to wait until the following day. We will still be keeping Barcelona and Cattaraugus Creek weigh stations open, but we are changing the hours from 2pm to 5pm daily. These new hours will let our volunteers be able to fish longer each day and not have to get in as early to get to the stations and setup. Also, we are working on opening a Dunkirk weigh station, but are still in the process of finalizing the details, and we will keep you posted as soon as we receive confirmation. Calcutta's. Another change and improvement will be on the 3 day Calcutta, We will be adding the last Sunday of the tournament onto this Calcutta and the price will increase from $30.00 to $40.00. This Calcutta will still continue to pay the top 3 heaviest walleyes for each day on Sat. June 9th, Sun. June 10th, Sat. June 16th and Sun. June 17th. This Calcutta will continue to be a 90% payout and is sponsored by C. Guenther Deck Restorations. The next improvement is the addition of the 9 day, 100% payout Calcutta sponsored by Curly's Grill and Banquet Center on Ridge Rd., Lackawanna N.Y. This Calcutta will cost $100.00 and will run for the full 9 days of the tournament and as mentioned above this is a 100 percent payout. This Calcutta will pay the top 5 heaviest Walleyes of the 9 days of the tournament. (NOT 5 PER DAY). You will also be able to enter more than 1 walleye in this Calcutta (Example: If you enter the 1st heaviest walleye on one day and say the 5th heaviest on a preceding day, you will win both payouts). This Calcutta has the potential to payout more than the main tournament, with the possibility for you to go home with over $10,000 in cash. Why? Because you are just as lucky as the next guy, and all it takes is that One Fish. So get in on the Calcutta’s today. You too can Be In It to Win It. Corporate Days - Let me start out by saying there will be 2 corporate sponsors each day this year, however the change comes from this - You will know all of the sponsors, but you will not know what day they will be sponsoring until the close of the tournament on Sunday June 17th. The sponsor names will be randomly drawn and placed on a day during the picnic, so it will be important this year to make sure you mark down sponsor product that you used on your weigh slips accordingly. So there you have it, these are the current changes and improvements we have made to the 34th Annual Southtowns Walleye Tournament 2018 our general rules have stayed the same except for a few word clarifications. We will keep you updated on the progress of the tournament plans through our monthly publication the FishLine, website (www.southtownswalleye.org) and Facebook page along with our general membership meetings. Also we would like to inform all of our members and non-members that we are now able to accept credit cards at the club and pay-pal on our website for membership and tournament sign-ups, so don’t delay on getting in for those early bird prizes. Thank You to our Tournament Committee for all of their hard work and dedication so far to making this an Epic Tournament. Rob Kroh Tournament Chairman Jim Skoczylas Tournament Co-Chairman 2018 Southtowns Walleye Association Tournament Sponsor Information If you desire information on sponsoring the 2018 STWA Walleye Tournament, please contact us at: [email protected]
  7. until
  8. Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York, Inc. 5895 Southwestern Boulevard, Hamburg, NY 14075 Tel.: 716.649.8202 Fax: 716.649.8237 For Media Inquiries Contact: Brian Plecas Tel.: 716.649.8202 Fax: 716.649.8237 [email protected] HAMBURG, N.Y., – February 22, 2018 – Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York Inc. (SWA) (www.southtownswalleye.org) held its annual Harry A. Smith installation dinner for its Officers and Board of Directors. The organization which boasts over 1,000 members annually supports kids fishing, philanthropic and conservation programs for the Great Lakes region and was instrumental in pushing for the removal of gill netting on Lake Erie, helping to make it the great fishery it is today. This year’s event took place on February 17, 2018 at Lucarelli’s Banquet Facility located in Lackawanna, NY for the official swearing in of its newly elected officers and board members. It also recognizes various members of the community and the club for outstanding service and dedication to furthering the organization and Great Lakes fishery. David B. Woodworth former President of Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York, Inc. presented his final Presidents Awards for 2017 to the following members: Amy Plecas, Colden, NY - Website and Fishline Publication Brian Plecas, Colden, NY - Website and Fishline Publication Carol Scott, Hamburg, NY - Clothing and Promotional Items Additionally, Sue Guenther, newly elected President of Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York, Inc. presented the remaining 2017 awards to the following individuals: Jason Robinson, Aquatic Biologist, DEC - Conservationist of the Year Award Gene Pauszek, Dunkirk, NY - 11.4 lb. walleye - Lou Podger Senior Angler Award Lana Woodworth, Angola, NY - Youth of the Year Award Julia Stechenfinger, Sloan, NY - Youth of the Year Award Sheriff Timothy Howard - Public Servant of the Year Award Rusty Ellis, Silver Creek, NY - Larry Scheffler Memorial Award George Szczublewski, Hamburg, NY - Special Recognition Award Fran Brobeil, Brobeil Marine - Sponsor Award Matt Taylor, XOAR Communications - Sponsor Award Previous year James Ridge Award Winner Franklin Thompson presented this year’s award to: Mike Jackson, Hamburg, NY - James Ridge Memorial Award Previous year Harry A. Smith Award Winner Sam Schrecengost presented this year’s award to: Bob Fessler, Orchard Park, NY - Harry A. Smith Memorial Award We would like to thank each of these individuals for their continued support and dedication to improving our fishery and our organization, and look forward to more great work from our membership and the community. Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving fishing opportunities in the region for all individuals. With a clear focus on kids, community, conservation, and philanthropy our various programs support these pillars for a strong future generation of outdoorsmen and women and our fishery. For a complete listing of descriptions of each of these awards and to learn more about our organization, please visit www.southtownswalleye.org or stop by our facility located at 5895 Southwestern Boulevard, Hamburg, NY 14075, Tel.: 716.649.8202, Fax: 716.649.8237, Meetings are held the third Thursday of each month at 7:30pm and are open to the public. View the full article on STWA website
  9. Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York, Inc. 5895 Southwestern Boulevard, Hamburg, NY 14075 Tel.: 716.649.8202 Fax: 716.649.8237 For Media Inquiries Contact: Brian Plecas Tel.: 716.649.8202 Fax: 716.649.8237 [email protected] HAMBURG, N.Y., – February 22, 2018 – Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York Inc. (SWA) (www.southtownswalleye.org) held its annual Harry A. Smith installation dinner for its Officers and Board of Directors. The organization which boasts over 1,000 members annually supports kids fishing, philanthropic and conservation programs for the Great Lakes region and was instrumental in pushing for the removal of gill netting on Lake Erie, helping to make it the great fishery it is today. This year’s event took place on February 17, 2018 at Lucarelli’s Banquet Facility located in Lackawanna, NY for the official swearing in of its newly elected officers and board members. It also recognizes various members of the community and the club for outstanding service and dedication to furthering the organization and Great Lakes fishery. David B. Woodworth former President of Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York, Inc. presented his final Presidents Awards for 2017 to the following members: Amy Plecas, Colden, NY - Website and Fishline Publication Brian Plecas, Colden, NY - Website and Fishline Publication Carol Scott, Hamburg, NY - Clothing and Promotional Items Additionally, Sue Guenther, newly elected President of Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York, Inc. presented the remaining 2017 awards to the following individuals: Jason Robinson, Aquatic Biologist, DEC - Conservationist of the Year Award Gene Pauszek, Dunkirk, NY - 11.4 lb. walleye - Lou Podger Senior Angler Award Lana Woodworth, Angola, NY - Youth of the Year Award Julia Stechenfinger, Sloan, NY - Youth of the Year Award Sheriff Timothy Howard - Public Servant of the Year Award Rusty Ellis, Silver Creek, NY - Larry Scheffler Memorial Award George Szczublewski, Hamburg, NY - Special Recognition Award Fran Brobeil, Brobeil Marine - Sponsor Award Matt Taylor, XOAR Communications - Sponsor Award Previous year James Ridge Award Winner Franklin Thompson presented this year’s award to: Mike Jackson, Hamburg, NY - James Ridge Memorial Award Previous year Harry A. Smith Award Winner Sam Schrecengost presented this year’s award to: Bob Fessler, Orchard Park, NY - Harry A. Smith Memorial Award We would like to thank each of these individuals for their continued support and dedication to improving our fishery and our organization, and look forward to more great work from our membership and the community. Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving fishing opportunities in the region for all individuals. With a clear focus on kids, community, conservation, and philanthropy our various programs support these pillars for a strong future generation of outdoorsmen and women and our fishery. For a complete listing of descriptions of each of these awards and to learn more about our organization, please visit www.southtownswalleye.org or stop by our facility located at 5895 Southwestern Boulevard, Hamburg, NY 14075, Tel.: 716.649.8202, Fax: 716.649.8237, Meetings are held the third Thursday of each month at 7:30pm and are open to the public. View the full article on STWA website
  10. Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York, Inc. 5895 Southwestern Boulevard, Hamburg, NY 14075 Tel.: 716.649.8202 Fax: 716.649.8237 For Media Inquiries Contact: Brian Plecas Tel.: 716.649.8202 Fax: 716.649.8237 [email protected] HAMBURG, N.Y., – February 22, 2018 – Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York Inc. (SWA) (www.southtownswalleye.org) held its annual Harry A. Smith installation dinner for its Officers and Board of Directors. The organization which boasts over 1,000 members annually supports kids fishing, philanthropic and conservation programs for the Great Lakes region and was instrumental in pushing for the removal of gill netting on Lake Erie, helping to make it the great fishery it is today. This year’s event took place on February 17, 2018 at Lucarelli’s Banquet Facility located in Lackawanna, NY for the official swearing in of its newly elected officers and board members. It also recognizes various members of the community and the club for outstanding service and dedication to furthering the organization and Great Lakes fishery. David B. Woodworth former President of Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York, Inc. presented his final Presidents Awards for 2017 to the following members: Amy Plecas, Colden, NY - Website and Fishline Publication Brian Plecas, Colden, NY - Website and Fishline Publication Carol Scott, Hamburg, NY - Clothing and Promotional Items Additionally, Sue Guenther, newly elected President of Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York, Inc. presented the remaining 2017 awards to the following individuals: Jason Robinson, Aquatic Biologist, DEC - Conservationist of the Year Award Gene Pauszek, Dunkirk, NY - 11.4 lb. walleye - Lou Podger Senior Angler Award Lana Woodworth, Angola, NY - Youth of the Year Award Julia Stechenfinger, Sloan, NY - Youth of the Year Award Sheriff Timothy Howard - Public Servant of the Year Award Rusty Ellis, Silver Creek, NY - Larry Scheffler Memorial Award George Szczublewski, Hamburg, NY - Special Recognition Award Fran Brobeil, Brobeil Marine - Sponsor Award Matt Taylor, XOAR Communications - Sponsor Award Previous year James Ridge Award Winner Franklin Thompson presented this year’s award to: Mike Jackson, Hamburg, NY - James Ridge Memorial Award Previous year Harry A. Smith Award Winner Sam Schrecengost presented this year’s award to: Bob Fessler, Orchard Park, NY - Harry A. Smith Memorial Award We would like to thank each of these individuals for their continued support and dedication to improving our fishery and our organization, and look forward to more great work from our membership and the community. Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving fishing opportunities in the region for all individuals. With a clear focus on kids, community, conservation, and philanthropy our various programs support these pillars for a strong future generation of outdoorsmen and women and our fishery. For a complete listing of descriptions of each of these awards and to learn more about our organization, please visit www.southtownswalleye.org or stop by our facility located at 5895 Southwestern Boulevard, Hamburg, NY 14075, Tel.: 716.649.8202, Fax: 716.649.8237, Meetings are held the third Thursday of each month at 7:30pm and are open to the public. View the full article on STWA website
  11. Southtowns Walleye Association of W.N.Y. Announces 2018 Online Tournament Sign-Ups are Now Open. Simply go to the Tournament Online Application and enter your details, select your tournament choices and submit the form. Payments are being accepted through PayPal which utilizes most credit cards and bank accounts to make it easy for you to sign-up, a modest 3% transaction fee is applied at the time of check-out to offer this service. Please note that you must be a member of Southtowns Walleye Association of W.N.Y. to participate in the annual tournament which is included in the price when selecting your options for the tournament. For questions or issues regarding your transaction please contact [email protected] and we will be happy to assist you. Fee Schedule: $85.00 - SWA Membership and Tournament Fee $40.00 - 4 Day Calcutta (Optional) $100.00 - 9 Day Calcutta(Optional) $5.00 - Walleye Wallet (Optional) $15.00 - Shipping and Handling Non-Resident Fee for the Fishline Newsletter Previous member ID number required for current members, if you are currently not an existing member please enter 111111 at the time of sign up and we will issue you a new membership ID number with your card at time of processing. View the full article on STWA website
  12. Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York, Inc. 5895 Southwestern Boulevard, Hamburg, NY 14075 Tel.: 716.649.8202 Fax: 716.649.8237 For Media Inquiries Contact: Brian Plecas Tel.: 716.649.8202 Fax: 716.649.8237 [email protected] HAMBURG, N.Y., – January 22, 2018 – Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York Inc. (SWA) (www.southtownswalleye.org) held its annual elections on January 18, 2018 for its Officers and Board of Directors. The organization which boasts over 1,000 members annually supports kids fishing, philanthropic and conservation programs for the Great Lakes region and was instrumental in pushing for the removal of gill netting on Lake Erie, helping to make it the great fishery it is today. The recent election for various positions consisted of First Vice President, Treasurer, Corresponding Secretary and several Board of Directors roles. Prior to the general election several officer positions went uncontested at the December meeting; President, Second Vice President, Membership Secretary, Recording Secretary and Sergeant at Arms respectively. David B. Woodworth previous President of Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York, Inc. recently stepped down after a remarkable fourteen years of service, his various contributions and leadership over this time has been instrumental in the success of the club and helped to set the foundation for its major role in the fishery and community today. Sue Guenther former First Vice President was elected into the position uncontested by the membership and the club looks forward to her continued strong leadership in 2018 and beyond. Current List of Officers 2018: President – Sue Guenther First Vice President – Jim Skoczylas Second Vice President – Ron Wutz Recoding Secretary – Jack Schultz Membership Secretary – Jay Such Corresponding Secretary – Tom Chiavetta Treasurer – Bob Merrick Assistant Treasurer – Dick Shaefer Sergeant at Arms – Mike McCloud Sergeant at Arms – Robert E. Mueller Board of Directors election results 2018: Director – Rusty Ellis Director – Chris Guenther Director – Tim Kuczka Director – Randy Scott Director – Jim Stechenfinger Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving fishing opportunities in the region for all individuals. With a clear focus on kids, community, conservation and philanthropy, our various programs support these pillars for a strong future generation of outdoorsmen and women and our fishery. To learn more about the club, please visit us at www.southtownswalleye.org or stop by our facility located at 5895 Southwestern Boulevard, Hamburg, NY 14075, Tel.: 716.649.8202, Fax: 716.649.8237, meetings are held the third Thursday of each monthat at 7:30pm and are open to the public. View the full article on STWA website
  13. Local Fishing Coverage and Events from the Buffalo News 2017 http://galleries.buffalonews.com/default.aspx?id=8621#/0 http://buffalonews.com/2017/06/28/obrien-comes-off-bench-scores-5000-walleye/ http://buffalonews.com/2017/06/28/the-fishing-beat-4/ http://buffalonews.com/2017/06/28/scattershot-outdoors-news-notes-32/ http://buffalonews.com/2017/06/28/outdoors-calendar-june-28/ View the full article on STWA website
  14. Article Credit to: Erie News NOW Plans to install a high-voltage cable under Lake Erie are gaining momentumThe Canadian government has officially approved the project and issued a certificate for the Lake Erie Connector. The $1 billion project will move electricity generated in Canada to Erie County through Lake Erie. Both the U.S. and Canada have now approved the project. The company ITC Holding Corp. out of Michigan plans to run a 73 mile long transmission cable under Lake Erie. It would connect to two converter stations, including one in Nanticoke, Ontario and another in Erie at Penelec's Erie West Substation. ITC Grid Development President Terry Harvill says this a historical project that will boost the trade in electricity between Canada and the United States. Once functional, Harvill says customers in both markets will have access to less expensive electricity. "The fact that you have two energy markets that are less than 100 miles apart, but aren't yet electrically interconnected, really provides some perspective on this project and what ultimately it can do and the benefits it can provide to customers." said Harvill. The project must now be approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. ITC is expected to fund the entire $1 billion project. View the full article on STWA website
  15. By News Editorial Board | Published June 28, 2017 | Updated June 28, 2017 To some extent, the problem affecting Lake Erie beaches is the same one tormenting property owners along the Lake Ontario shoreline: There’s too much water. Efforts are underway to attend to some of those problems, but among them needs to be the infrastructure program authorized in the state budget earlier this year. With the deluge of rain this spring, beach water along Lake Erie has frequently become too hazardous for swimming. That’s a dramatic change from last year, when a near-drought parched the landscape, but kept beaches busy and swimmers in the water. The problem with rain is runoff and overflows. With nearly 17.5 inches of rain since March 1, runoff into creeks and streams, sewer overflows, erosion and turbidity have fouled beach water far more frequently than last year. Consider: Woodlawn State Park beach has been closed to swimming more than half the time since it opened for the season, just before Memorial Day. Hamburg Town Park, meanwhile, has been closed about a third of the time. But last year, when Buffalo recorded about one-third as much rain over the same period, beach closings fell by almost 65 percent from 2015, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Beach Advisory and Closing Online Notification system. There’s not much anyone can do about the amount of rain that falls around Western New York, or elsewhere in the Great Lakes watershed. But what New York State and its municipalities can do is to upgrade their water-handling infrastructure to avoid or at least limit the overflow – especially of raw, untreated sewage – that now pours into Lake Erie when stormwater overwhelms the existing treatment facilities. That’s where the $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act comes in. Approved as part of the new state budget, the measure is meant to help local governments pay for infrastructure projects, address water emergencies and investigate and mitigate emerging contaminants. That work is urgently needed, not simply to keep beaches open to swimmers, but to protect the quality of Western New York’s waterways – the area’s primary natural resource. Lakes Erie and Ontario are to Buffalo and Western New York as oil is to Texas. Water quality in our lakes has been improving in recent years, due in large part to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, an effort created by the Obama administration and now under siege from President Trump, who has threatened to reduce its funding by a debilitating 97 percent. Thus, New York and Washington are pointing in opposite directions on the matter of water quality – the former understanding and acting upon the need for clean water, which includes continuing the work of cleaning the Great Lakes and its tributaries; the other, not much caring about that. Western New York has already benefited from the GLRI. Under its umbrella, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spent parts of two years cleaning decades of industrial pollutants from the Buffalo River. Once declared biologically dead, the river could be swimmable by next year and its fish safe for consumption within a decade. That’s a remarkable turnaround. Similarly, the Niagara River is also cleaner than it has been in decades. It now supports lake sturgeon and bald eagles. Another tributary, Scajaquada Creek, is expected to be cleaned of terrible pollution under a new state and local program. That’s the trend. Washington needs to support it, and local officials need to make use of the new state infrastructure program to add to the effort of protecting the reviving waters of Lake Erie. With that, better swimming will be only part of the benefit. View the full article on STWA website
×