Waterkeeper keeps WNY cleaner and greener - rain or shine

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) -  

Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper has been dedicated to protecting Western New York's regional environment and waterways for over 25 years.

This community-based nonprofit organization relies on a staff of 27 and countless volunteers to clean up, restore, rehabilitate and enhance various parts of the Buffalo-Niagara community - from clean ups to planting to restoration to rehabilitation projects.

It’s a collective effort that has transformed visible destruction from the post-industrialization era by beautifying neighborhoods and communities - one at a time.

James Galbo, a Cheektowaga native, has been volunteering with Waterkeeper for the past 10 years. For him, his dedication to the organization stemmed from a passion - for nature.

“We have one planet and it’s our job to take care of it. If we don’t, I honestly don’t know what will happen,” Galbo said. 

As a team leader, he leads and educates volunteers about the nature and the value in giving to it, nurturing it and caring for it.

“Whether you’re recycling or signing up for one of our many community-driven efforts, we all can do our part,” Galbo continued.

Thanks to grant funding, Waterkeeper has been able to continue local efforts, including: the restoration along the Buffalo River, several large initiatives to restore Scajaquada Creek, the Upper Watershed Initiative to protect water sources, and the Gill Creek project in Hyde Park in Niagara Falls - that’s in it’s second phase of tree planting.

As the largest Waterkeeper organization in the world, Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper relies on several citizen engagement outings and opportunities, including: kayak tours, guided hikes, educational immersive experiences and several other outreach programs, to spread its mission.

On Friday, November 3rd, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. volunteers are welcome to join staff and fellow team members at Gill Creek in Hyde Park in Niagara Falls to continue tree planting.

Sign up is encouraged, but not necessary. Show up, grab a shovel and help by in whatever capacity you're able.

For more on Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper’s efforts and future community engagement projects, visit their website.

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