WASHINGTON – Chautauqua County’s representative in Congressman, Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning), announced Thursday the passage of the Water Resources Development Act of 2018 which authorizes a study to evaluate the environmental and economic damage caused by excessive phosphorous runoff from algal blooms in Chautauqua Lake.
Both Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand worked to ensure that a similar lake study provision was included in the Senate version of the bill last week.
“I am happy to say that we are one step closer to ending these awful algal blooms that reduce water quality and put a damper on the Chautauqua local economy,” said Rep. Reed. “It is always a good day when I can join my Democratic colleagues in the Senate to work to improve the quality of lives of the people we were sent by to Washington to represent.”
“Our lakes and waterways are a critical component of our economy and quality of life here in Chautauqua County,” Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello said. “I appreciate Congressman Reed’s unwavering support and advocacy for the many critical water projects throughout our county.”
This study will also examine flood risk management measures, assess ecosystem restoration efforts, and address the accelerated erosion along the lake’s tributary streambanks. Erosion along Chautauqua Lake’s tributary streambanks have resulted in excessive sediment deposition, which also impairs the lake’s water quality.
Chautauqua Lake is an important recreation and tourism destination for boating and fishing. About 34 percent of the lake’s watershed drains from agricultural and developed lands. Excessive nutrients, such as phosphorus, damage the ecological state of the watershed.