Alliance To Develop Five-Year Strategy For Watershed Projects

County Executive Vince Horrigan announced that the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance has selected EcoLogic LLC to develop a Five Year Implementation Strategy. Horrigan, in a Monday Morning Memo, said the strategy will prioritize longterm watershed projects as well as annual lake in-lake management projects on a timeline that will “maximize limited local resources.”

Horrigan said the projects will include stream bank stabilization, urban storm water management and annual in-lake maintenance, as well as management of vegetation, near-shore and floating debris.

“After receiving four responses to the Request For Proposal, and conducting two interviews, the board of directors unanimously voted to select EcoLogic LLC based on their qualifications, experience and approach,” Horrigan said. “This aquatic and watershed science consulting firm is no stranger to New York state lake issues and will provide independent facilitation amongst the varied stakeholders who are passionate about Chautauqua Lake. The development of the strategy will involved input from all stakeholders and members of the alliance.”

Horrigan said the process will build off of existing guidance documents and studies so the work that’s already been done will not be redone. He said the goal is to have a five-year implementation strategy by May 2018.

Erin Brickley, alliance executive director, said the implementation strategy will help answer the question, “How do we efficiently maximize our resources?” She said the hope is to address how to prioritize use of funding as well as end up with a prioritization tool at the end of the process.

Brickley said the idea is to have a written document that is understandable both for the seasoned professional and the layman as well. She said the activities of the reinvigorated Chautauqua Lake Partnership acted as an impetus for the process. Brickley said EcoLogic has a lot of experience and has three people with doctoral degrees on the team that will work on the project.

The group was chosen to work on the implementation strategy due to their background in science, which the alliance is interested in.

“We want to make sure science is the backbone for what we do,” Brickley said. “They were really well written, and that’s what we wanted — a written report.”

The alliance meets on the second Thursday of every month, she said. The next meeting will be held Dec. 14 at 4 p.m. at the Stow Senior Center. The meetings are open to the public, she said.

“We’re a member organization that wants to make sure everyone’s at the table,” Brickley said.