$1 Million Dollar Designation will be Split Between Lake Chautauqua and Two Other National Projects
Weed Phenomenon is Spreading Throughout the Lake and Could Hurt Boating and Tourism for Decades if Aggressive Steps Aren't Taken Right Now
"This is very good news for all of us who fear the weeds are devastating the lake," Schumer said. "With these funds, the Army Corp will be able to go in and conduct a full study to root out the milfoil problem before more irreparable damage is done. Chautauqua Lake is the gem of Chautauqua and we need to be doing everything we can to keep it clean, safe, and beautiful."
"The health and usability of Chautauqua Lake have been severely threatened by this invasive weed. The weeds have not only impacted popular summer activities like fishing and sailing that are an economic engine for the County, they have also marred the view of this beautiful lake. We simply cannot let this picturesque lake and its proud history as an economic engine for the region be drowned in invasive weeds. I am thrilled that our Senate colleagues have approved these funds so we can get the Army Corps started on clean up efforts as soon as possible. This will definitely set us on the right path to bringing back tourism, recreation and the postcard-perfect view to the lake," Senator Clinton said.
Lake Chautauqua, New York Aquatic Plant Control will use these funds to combat an invasive aquatic plant control problem, which is causing severe economic and ecological impact on Lake Chautauqua in western New York. The recreational industry, on which the regional economy depends, has been impaired despite best efforts of local officials to address the problem. The $1 million in federal funds has been allocated to the ACOE to be split between Lake Chautauqua and two other lakes in the country.
The rise of the Eurasian Milfoil, which has spread exponentially in the Southern Basin of the lake, has led to concerns over human and aquatic health, noxious odors, unsightly tangles of weeds on shore, and clogged unnavigable waterways for recreational boaters. This invasive species of plant has placed an enormous hardship on local governments, which have organized the Chautauqua Lake Management Commission that for the first time establishes a unified lake management program to tackle the problem. Homeowners are also worried about property values as the Milfoil has become unsightly and emit a foul odor.
On February 13, Schumer sent a personal letter to Lieutenant General Carl A. Strock, Commander and Chief of the Army Corps on the Army Corps asking him to immediately step in to assist state, local, and community efforts to eradicate the weeds. Following this request, the Army Corps did an initial inspection of the weeds at the lake in May. Senator Clinton's office has also been working with the Chautauqua County Lake Association on this critical issue and both offices have had representatives tour the lake to see first hand the devastation these weeds have caused.
Invasive species are non-native plants, animals, insects or other organisms that can cause harm to the environment, farm land, crops, bodies of water, and even human health. Invasive species are a form of biological pollution and are recognized as one of the leading threats to biodiversity in Upstate New York. Invasive species attack all aspects of Upstate New York's agricultural and environmental sectors and have been around since the beginning of international commerce.