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Thursday, August 06, 2015

Lake Erie seen as tool to spur tourism, development

on August 5, 2015 - 8:32 PM

DUNKIRK – Officials from Chautauqua and Erie counties went on a fishing expedition Wednesday and returned for a forum on how Lake Erie can spur tourism and economic development.
The city of Dunkirk’s small boat harbor was the launching spot for the fishing tour coordinated by the Chautauqua and Erie County Fish Advisory Boards.
Dunkirk Mayor A.J. Dolce went out fishing with a group that included Chautauqua County Executive Vincent Horrigan; Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, R-Jamestown; and County Legislator George Borrello, R-Silver Creek. Charter boats were provided for the tours and volunteers provided a luncheon of fresh walleye after the excursion.
After returning from the morning fishing excursion, Horrigan introduced many local leaders from Chautauqua and Erie counties who gathered at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on the small boat harbor. Horrigan has been very supportive of efforts to promote tourism along the shoreline.
Horrigan turned the floor over to John “Jay” Warren, who is heading up the county’s Lakefront Water Revitalization Program. Warren said 10 communities from Sunset Bay in the town of Hanover to Ripley at the state line have come together to write plans that promote preservation of the lake as well as economic development, tourism and recreation along the harbor.
The target area for the program is along Route 5, which runs through all the communities. The area includes a 500-foot zone along the shoreline and tributaries at the lake.
Other speakers told the group about the economic impact of sport fishing.
Dolce took the opportunity to promote the city’s shoreline for a SUNY Fredonia research facility, museum and learning facility. “We really hope our time is coming for SUNY Fredonia to get a chance to have this facility at our harborfront,” Dolce said.
He said plans to improve the city’s breakwall and other harbor improvements, including recreational equipment and a promenade along the beach area, are nearing completion. Since the opening of a boardwalk several years ago, city leaders have been setting their sights on new businesses that attract others to the harbor. Dunkirk was the site of a large fishing tournament last weekend.
“We hope to offer even more activities for people who fish and the family members who travel with them,” Dolce said.

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