MAYVILLE - County lawmakers and area elected officials will be hitting the water next week for a late-summer field trip.
The legislature, with township mayors and supervisors along Chautauqua Lake, have been invited for a boat tour on the cruise ship Summer Wind.
The trip will take place next Monday, and is being organized by a cluster of "bipartisan citizens" hoping to educate those serving the county.
"I'm encouraged the legislature has been offered this chance to get on the lake," said County Executive Greg Edwards. "It's very important to have these discussions."
"More than anything we just have to communicate all the work that is under way and being done on the lake," added Vince Horrigan, R-Bemus Point. "Some of the hardest people to get a hold of is people that have second homes along the lake."
The two-hour tour will include presentations by Lyle Hajdu, Chautauqua Lake Management Commission, and Jeff Diers, county watershed coordinator. Focus will be given to the county's submerged aquatic vegetation management plan.
The vegetation plan, expected to be completed next year, will explore all in-lake options for the lake, including biological and chemical use.
"This is precisely the opportunity we were looking for," Hajdu told The Post-Journal. "I was asked if I would be willing to meet in committees or the legislature. I said I'd be willing to help raise awareness of the lake and watershed.
"People can then understand how the lake is being impaired by the flow of nutrients, and then garner support and take the next step."
Hajdu gave a CLMC report last week to the legislature's Planning and Economic Development Committee. That report included funding recommendations for the first time in the volunteer lake commission's seven-year history.
A similar presentation will be given Monday.
"It's precisely what we wanted to happen and what needs to happen," Hajdu said. "Hopefully it's the first of many discussions we have with the lake and watershed."
Hajdu noted that with Chautauqua Lake accounting for a "significant" amount of the local economy, informing lawmakers is a great step to bridge any gaps.
"It does a lot for this area," he said.
The boat tour will begin at Celoron's Lucille Ball Park.