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Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper ramps up efforts to restore Scajaquada Creek

Posted at 7:48 PM, Sep 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-17 18:50:17-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Protecting the quality of our water. It's been the commitment of Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper for more than 30 years. This month the organization is ramping up efforts to restore the Scajaquada Creek with the "Scajaquada September" awareness campaign.

"Scajaquada September is our attempt to reengage the community and rally around the cleanup of this creek system", says Jill Jedlicka, Waterkeeper's Executive Director. "We have been at this for over a decade, but every once and awhile we have to remind folks that the work is still going on."

And there is a lot of work to do. The Scajaquada Creek corridor runs 13 miles through the Town of Lancaster, Village of Depew, Town of Cheektowaga and City of Buffalo. Sewage overflows, stormwater runoff, and land use issues are among the many challenges that need to be addressed.

"There are all sorts of inputs that are happening adding insult to injury to this creek", says Jedlicka. "Water flowing through Scajaquada eventually flows into the Niagara River which is our source of drinking water for many people in the northern part of Erie County and Niagara County".

Work to restore Scajaquada Creek began a decade ago on a stretch of the creek in Forest Lawn Cemetery. The restored wetlands and new access for pedestrians make the progress easy to spot with the $6 million project a catalyst for future restoration.

Views of the restored wetlands and new access for pedestrians near Scajaquada Creek in Forest Lawn Cemetery.

"Having this project right here in Forest Lawn is almost like a bullseye right in the center of Scajaquada Creek both upstream and downstream. It is going to create the momentum that we need to do the heavy lift that we need to do in Hoyt Lake or to tackle the big problem in Cheektowaga."

If you would like to take part in "Scajaquada September" you can register to help in creek cleanups on Saturday, September 19th. There is also an on-line auction for Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper on September 24th.

"Get your feet wet and your hands dirty. That's the best way to physically connect to our water", added Jedlicka.