As Summer Begins, Chautauqua Lake Takes Center Stage

This week marks the unofficial start of the summer tourist season – and with it comes several opportunities to hear several points of view regarding the health of Chautauqua Lake, a central cornerstone to the county’s tourism efforts.

Jim Wehrfritz, a longtime lake advocate who has expressed concerns about how new state wetlands regulations could affect the lake, will host his second public meeting on the topic with identical presentations from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the Lawson Center in Bemus Point and again from noon to 1:30 p.m. Monday at the Bemus Point Golf Club and Tap House.

The Chautauqua Lake Partnership will host a meeting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Village Casino to focus on its efforts to campaign for an exemption for Chautauqua Lake from the state’s upcoming freshwater wetlands regulations.

Chautauqua County will host a symposium focused on Chautauqua Lake at 9 a.m. Sunday, June 2, at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel in Celoron. June also brings with it the 2024 Chautauqua Lake Conference at Chautauqua Institution. That event from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 22, will include updates from local Chautauqua Lake organizations, SUNY Fredonia researchers, researchers from SUNY Oneonta and North Carolina State University, the Jefferson Project and local lake organizations.

It’s hard to overstate Chautauqua Lake’s importance to the local economy. But the lake faces challenges from invasive vegetation, harmful algal blooms and, possibly, changes to the wetlands regulations that govern what can be done in the lake. We all have a stake in Chautauqua Lake – and these upcoming meetings and symposiums are an opportunity for all of us – both seasonal residents and those who call the Chautauqua Lake region home year-round – to hear from a range of smart, devoted people – sometimes with different views on lake policy – about what they see happening in and around Chautauqua Lake.


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