County Executive PJ Wendel was joined by County staff to unveil a Chautauqua Lake Memorandum of Understanding Wednesday night. The M-O-U follows the 2019 Chautauqua Lake Memorandum of Agreement, which ended April 30th.
Wendel said most would agree that the 2019 M-O-A was a success with a number of initiatives achieved,
“A combined effort to improve near-shore cleanup utilizing Mobitracs, Barges, and Harvesters; an increased ability to move more quickly respond to the stakeholders’ needs; the use of a new herbicide, ProcellaCOR, product to control Eurasian Watermilfoil; the use of satellite-based Geographic Information System technology to track the movement of equipment and the location of herbicide applications on the Lake.”
Wendel said other initiatives reached included more comprehensive weed surveys and increased transparency in sharing of data and operations. He said while the 2019 M-O-A did not fully resolve all stakeholder disagreements regarding funding and lake management activities, stakeholders communicated much better and more often than in the past.
The county retained the services of W-S-P, formerly Ecology & Environment, located in Lancaster, to interview Lake stakeholders regarding a successor agreement. Wendel said the result of those interviews led the county to develop a Memorandum of Understanding as a non-binding agreement with the intent that all participants would work collaboratively and in good faith,
“The 2021 MOU is a Chautauqua County agreement that encompasses the Chautauqua Lake municipalities and its Not-for-Profits. It is known that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, or the DEC, has full and objective regulatory authority over Chautauqua Lake. The issues that the Chautauqua Lake stakeholders and regulators are challenged with are much broader than just weed management.”
Wendel laid out other key elements of the M-O-U including that it’s not a prerequisite or rubric to qualify for local funding and that stakeholders should have the trust to collaborate with others without the threat of litigation.
Wendel said he felt motivated to do this because Chautauqua Lake is an economic engine,
“But, as we’ve heard before, and pardon the pun, our ships must travel in the same direction. We don’t have to agree with everything that everybody does, but we do have to work together. We cannot cross paths, we cannot criticize, we need to work together in a very fundamental way and for the betterment of this Lake.”
The M-O-U will be sent out today to municipalities and organizations to review.
Leave a Reply