Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy announces conservation activities

The Chautauqua Water-shed Conservancy has announced its plans for the organization’s conservation activities for 2014.

The CWC is the only local not-for-profit land trust, pollution prevention and watershed education organization based in Chautauqua County, and its activities are primarily funded through membership donations.

The CWC plans to continue its Healthy Landscapes-Healthy Waters program, reaching out to landowners to conserve stream corridors, wetlands and shore lands in order to protect and enhance the most ecologically important landscapes that collect, store, filter and deliver clean waters to our streams, lakes and drinking water supplies. CWC’s conservationists will continue to provide technical assistance to landowners on how to manage their properties to reduce water pollution and soil erosion and enhance fish and wildlife habitat. The CWC offers many options for property conservation, including its Watershed Stewards program, as well as conservation easements, which may carry tax benefits for landowners.

Earlier this year, the Conservancy acquired the 12-acre Whitney Bay Lakeshore Forest Wetland Site and is continuing to pursue funding for its permanent conservation.

The CWC is also seeking donations to help cover the costs of land acquisition and conservation easements on wetlands and watershed forests on Chautauqua Lake, Chautauqua Creek and Cassadaga Creek.

The conservation of these properties will protect stream corridors and important fish and wildlife habitats.

The CWC will also continue to partner with the Chautauqua County Soil & Water Conservation Dis-trict, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Chautauqua County Planning Depart-ment to assist landowners in obtaining cost-share funding to reduce soil erosion and intercept nutrients before they reach waterways and fuel excessive algae and plant growth in our lakes.

To become a Watershed Steward, learn more about CWC’s programs, events and volunteer opportunities, or to donate, call the CWC at 664-2166, or visit www.chautauquawatershed.org.