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April 24, 2017

By April 24, 2017August 1st, 2017News - CLP

Good evening.

We are the Chautauqua Lake Partnership (CLP), now over 130 strong and still growing with membership up 75% in the last 3 weeks. In those same 3 weeks, our Fundraising Committee reports we’ve already reached 65% of our “individual” goal…and we have yet to hear from 80% of those contacted! Great job Committee and thanks to all who have donated.

Mark your calendars: 9:00-11:00 am, Saturday, May 27, 2017, Memorial Day Weekend. CLP will conduct a Rally consistent with our slogan, “Chautauqua Lake, A Great Lake Seeking A Greater Future”at The Village Casino on Bemus Point. More details will be provided as we get closer to the event.

Sunday was sunny with highs to reach into the mid-60’s with mid-70’s expected mid-week. Ours was a beautiful Earth Day weekend at Chautauqua, an especially fitting backdrop for an editorial which appeared in the Jamestown Post-Journal Sunday morning (see attachment). Please read the editorial for yourself and you’ll find supportive comments from the Post-Journal editorial staff.

  • “…a small group (of) a few neighbors has now grown to more than 150 active members…the Bemus Bay Property Owners…has now merged with the Chautauqua Lake Partnership…”
  • “…now…is a good time to remind everyone…to be open-minded about the Bemus Bay Property Owner’s proposal…if they can raise the money and the DEC approves permits for the herbicide use, then the herbicide use should happen…”
  • “…targeted (herbicide) applications that remove a nuisance for property owners and help lakefront businesses take advantage of the summer season should at least be considered both by the DEC and possible funders…”

The last 3 weeks have been busy, as usual. Your all-volunteer officers and others are working tirelessly. Following is a listing of key recent and upcoming activities.

  • As reported in the last update, 640 Letters of Notification were sent to Bemus Bay shoreline property owners and beyond on March 30 notifying them of Town/Village herbicide permitting efforts. As of April 13, 2/3 of the way through the 21 day comment period, no letters of concern had been received by the NYSDEC in response to the Notifications.  A handful of letters of concern were received by NYSDEC which pre-dated the Notification or permit submittal, from individuals who do not live on the Lake as well as a letter from the Chautauqua Lake Association (CLA, the weed cutters).
  • For those unfamiliar with use of herbicides in weed management, the following will be of interest. Herbicides are not new to Chautauqua Lake and nearby water bodies. They were used to control aquatic vegetation by the Chautauqua Lake Association and others for 35 years through 1992 and by the Town of Ellicott and CLP in 2002. In fact, according to an archived Post-Journal news article, a herbicide was used to remove an invasive aquatic plant on 21 acres of the Audubon Community Nature Center’s Big Pond in Jamestown in 2015 and 2016.
  • On April 13, the CLP joined with Mark Schlemmer, Ellery Town Council CLP Contact, to update the Council on CLP activities. Town Supervisor Arden Johnson reaffirmed his commitment to the permitting process.
  • Meetings were held with local farmers, highway superintendents, lake-related contractors and mechanically and engineering-inclined individuals on April 13 and April 20. This Shoreline Team is seeking safer and less labor-intensive methods to remove the weed fragments and sludge that pollute our shorelines, foul the air and make lake use nearly impossible. This Team makes up one of three options CLP is considering for its 2017 Shoreline/Near Shore Cleanup Demonstration Project.
  • On April 18, we met with John Whitaker, Editor of the Jamestown Post-Journal to introduce CLP, it’s genesis, principles and plans. John would like to hear from CLP members. Please Contact him at jwhittaker@post-journal.
  • Informal permit application review discussions have begun with NYS DEC exploring potential permit-related requirements and how the recently-completed Macrophyte Management Strategy would facilitate permitting as it was intended. The Town and Village and CLP have been represented in these discussions.
  • On April 20, we met with the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance), an “umbrella” organization with a large membership of lake-related organizations, local governments and other groups with an interest in the Lake. CLP, a founding member of the Alliance, recently renewed it’s membership thanks to your donations. We introduced CLP and our plans to the Alliance Board and requested their assistance (see attachment).
  • We’ll attend our second meeting with the Chautauqua County Soil & Water Conservation District on April 25 to update them on our activities, thank them for support in the Shoreline Team and further explore common interests.
  • CLP has been invited to a Chautauqua County-organized Roundtable to discuss 2017 weed management work plans. We’ll need to be ready to discuss weed survey results which show very low Bemus Bay weed density (50-100% “none/trace/sparse” depending on weed type) contrary to 2015-16 Bemus Bay property owner experience. Please hit “Reply” to share a few sentences on your 2015-2016 weed experience with us. We’ll carry it into the Roundtable.

Please encourage friends and neighbors who care about the Lake to “get on board” by joining the Partnership and, if they’re able and willing, by making a donation. Contact Sara DeMink, Fundraising Committee Chairperson at [email protected] to join up and/or donate or send an e-mail to


Jim Wehrfritz, Vice President, on behalf of

Jim Cirbus, President

Chautauqua Lake Partnership