Thursday, January 30, 2014

Climate Science Presentation and Writers Group Meeting

Climate and Clean Energy Writers Group

A public education and outreach project of the Sierra Club Niagara Group

Meets this Monday, February 3rd

Presentation on Climate Science Basics

 

Frederick Stoss, MS, MLS - SUNY University at Buffalo Librarian for Biological Sciences, Ecology/Environmental Science, Geology and Math, will give a short presentation on Climate Change. 

Mr. Stoss has trained with the Climate Reality Project, founded by former Vice President Al Gore.

WHO:   Open to the public and free.  This event is geared toward those who wish to write about climate and clean energy issues, but all are welcome. 

WHAT: The Sierra Club's Climate and Clean Energy (CACE) Writers Group holds its February monthly meeting, co-sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo (UUCB) Social Justice Task Force

WHEN:  Monday, February 3rd from 6:00 to 7:30 PM. The presentation and Q&A will take 45 minutes to an hour, followed by a short break when non-writers are welcome to exit if they like, leaving 30-45 minutes to review recent media reports and discuss writing projects

WHERE: Unitarian Universalist Church - 695 Elmwood at Ferry.  Use the garden entrance - meeting is in the 2nd floor Alliance Room

Writers Group

Background:
MAKE A DIFFERENCE - The Sierra Club is setting up a Climate and Clean Energy Writers Group to encourage a stronger voice for local advocates in the regional dialogue on climate change and renewables.  The plan is to meet monthly, hear a short presentation on a relevant topic, discuss energy related news, letters and articles, and encourage each other to write for publication on topics of interest.

We are seeking writers of all ages and are very interested in getting the word out via various media, including print and the internet.  If you would like to write, critique writing, or track local news items, please let us know.

What is the process:
You are encouraged at any time to write letters to the editor, op-eds, blogs – any way to express your opinion about climate and clean energy issues. 
There is no process required. If you would like us to help you with fact checking or editing, or any form of encouragement, please contact us.
The monthly meetings are meant to provide stimulating information and a chance to talk together, but If you can’t make a given meeting, don’t let that stop you from expressing yourself.

Submissions:
Guidelines for articles and letters to the Buffalo News can be found at: http://corp.buffalonews.com/services/contact/guidelines.asp

County Executive Mark Poloncarz has set up a great page laying out how to write letters to the editor to local media, at http://markpoloncarz.com/submit-a-letter-to-the-editor/    

We meet the first Monday of each month.  882-9237 or billnowa@gmail.com for more information

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Canadian Oil Sands: Keystone Pipeline - Buffalo Event - Environmental Fight - Trains?

Keystone XL Pipeline Decision Expected By June: WSJ .

The Obama administration will make its final decision on the Keystone XL pipeline by early summer, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The proposed pipeline, which would run from the Canadian oil sands to refineries in Texas, has been under consideration for years, but a final decision on it has been delayed several times due to requests for additional evaluations of the project's environmental impact.

The State Department's inspector general is looking into allegations that there was a conflict of interest with the company that prepared the project's latest draft environmental analysis. That report is expected to be released by the end of January. The State Department has the authority to approve the project because it crosses an international border.
The Journal reports that sources familiar with the decision said that the final environmental impact analysis is expected to be released next month. After that, the State Department will make a decision about whether the pipeline is in the national interest, and other agencies will have 90 days to comment on the verdict. That would put President Barack Obama in a position to make a final decision by May or June.

President Obama has said that the pipeline should be approved only if it is determined that it does not have a major impact on total carbon emissions. "Allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so would be in our nation's interest," the president said in his big climate speech last June. "And our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. The net effects of the pipeline's impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward."

Read the full article at the Huffington Post and the Wall Street Journal


Buffalo host site for Alberta Oil Sands info

The Consulate General of Canada in New York and the U.S. Commercial Service will co-host its fifth Canada Oil Sands Matchmaking Event in Buffalo on Feb. 3.

At the event, representatives from Alberta’s largest energy companies will host 15-minute meetings with area companies that want to be part of the oil sands supply chain. The rapid growth of the region, which hosts the third-largest proven oil reserve, has created demand for infrastructure, equipment and engineering services.

Read more at Buffalo Business First


Pipeline Fight Lifts Environmental Movement


WASHINGTON — Environmentalists have spent the past two years fighting the Keystone XL pipeline: They have built a human chain around the White House, clogged the State Department’s public comment system with more than a million emails and letters, and gotten themselves arrested at protests across the country. 

But as bad as they argue the 1,700-mile pipeline would be for the planet, Keystone XL has been a boon to the environmental movement. While it remains unclear whether Obama will approve the project, both sides agree that the fight has changed American environmental politics.

“I think it would be na├»ve for any energy infrastructure company to think that this would be a flash in the pan,” said Alexander J. Pourbaix, president of energy and oil pipelines at TransCanada, the company that has been trying to get a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline since 2008.

Environmentalists want to stop the transport of 800,000 barrels a day of heavy crude from oil sands formations in Canada to Texas refineries, and an oil extraction process that emits more greenhouse gases than other forms of production. Proponents of the Keystone XL project say that the oil will come out of the ground with or without a new pipeline and that other methods of transport, like rail, cause more pollution.

They point out that TransCanada began operations on Wednesday on a southern pipeline segment that connects to existing pipelines to provide a route from Alberta to the Gulf Coast.


Read more at the New York Times 



Transporting Fossil Fuels: Rail vs. Pipeline is the Wrong Question

Debating the best way to do something we shouldn’t be doing in the first place is a sure way to end up in the wrong place. That’s what’s happening with the “rail versus pipeline” discussion. Some say recent rail accidents mean we should build more pipelines to transport fossil fuels. Others argue that leaks, high construction costs, opposition and red tape surrounding pipelines are arguments in favor of using trains.

But the recent spate of rail accidents and pipeline leaks and spills doesn’t provide arguments for one or the other; instead, it indicates that rapidly increasing oil and gas development and shipping ever greater amounts, by any method, will mean more accidents, spills, environmental damage—even death. The answer is to step back from this reckless plunder and consider ways to reduce our fossil fuel use.

If we were to slow down oil sands development, encourage conservation and invest in clean energy technology, we could save money, ecosystems and lives—and we’d still have valuable fossil fuel resources long into the future, perhaps until we’ve figured out ways to use them that aren’t so wasteful. We wouldn’t need to build more pipelines just to sell oil and gas as quickly as possible, mostly to foreign markets. We wouldn’t have to send so many unsafe rail tankers through wilderness areas and places people live.

Read more at EcoWatch

CLIMATE NEWS: Warming Video - Policy Battlefield - Polar Vortex - What's 350?

VIDEO: Six Decades of a Warming Earth.


NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, which analyzes global surface temperatures on an ongoing basis, released an updated report on temperatures around the globe in 2013. The comparison shows how Earth continues to experience temperatures warmer than those measured several decades ago.

With the exception of 1998, the 10 warmest years in the 134-year record all have occurred since 2000. 2010 and 2005 rank as the warmest years on record. NASA scientists say 2013 tied with 2009 and 2006 for the seventh warmest year since 1880, continuing a long-term trend of rising global temperatures.

Scientists emphasize that weather patterns always will cause fluctuations in average temperatures from year to year, but the continued increases in greenhouse gas levels in Earth's atmosphere are driving a long-term rise in global temperatures. Each successive year will not necessarily be warmer than the year before, but with the current level of greenhouse gas emissions, scientists expect each successive decade to be warmer than the previous.
Read more at NASA.gov.


Climate to be 2014 Battlefield

Climate change and energy will be a major policy battleground in the 2014 midterms, advocates on both sides of the issue promise.

Republicans like Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) plan to go on the attack against President Obama’s  climate action plan, which they have dubbed a “war on coal.”

They’re backed by conservative groups like the American Energy Alliance, which is already airing campaign ads attacking Democrats such as Rep. Nick Rahall (W.Va.) for supporting a carbon tax.

Green activists led by Tom Steyer plan to return fire.

The billionaire former hedge fund manager, who has poured his money into environmental causes, said Thursday that his New Year’s resolution is to make climate change a voter concern in 2014.

“This election year, more than ever, we must hold our leaders responsible for the role they play in the fight against climate change,” he wrote on NextGen Climate’s  website, keystonetruth.com. 

Noise surrounding crude oil exports and offshore oil development from coastal states is already being made, and Landrieu may push policy that evens the playing ground for coastal states when it comes to collecting federal dollars tied to energy development.

A number of political players are promising involvement.

The Sierra Club plans to highlight differences between candidates on energy issues. The green group touts that in 2014 it will mobilize its 2.1 million members and supporters to continue the momentum it built in 2013 races in Virginia and Colorado, where candidates it backed won reelection.

“Americans widely support climate solutions like accelerating job-creating wind and solar energy growth, tackling dangerous carbon pollution from dirty power plants, securing strong standards to protect our air and water, and protecting our public lands from destructive drilling and mining — we will help ensure the contrasts between candidates on these issues are clear,” Sierra Club Director Michael Brune wrote in an email to The Hill.

Read the full article at The Hill


VIDEO: The Polar Vortex Explained in Two Minutes

President Obama's Science and Technology Advisor, Dr. John Holdren, explains the polar vortex in 2 minutes—and why climate change makes extreme weather more likely going forward. 

Dr. Holdren says, "If you've been hearing that extreme cold spells, like the one that we're having in the United States now, disproves global warming, don't believe it!"

Click Here to view the video.



350 - Education of a Climate Upstart with a 'Weird' Name

A trip to the United Nations' climate talks in Bali sounds like every young activist's dream. But when a group of recent Middlebury College graduates trekked there in 2007 to continue the environmental work they began in school, at least one found the scene more daunting than inspiring.

The aspiring young leaders had orchestrated rallies in all 50 states that year to push for slashing greenhouse gas emissions -- only to be greeted in Bali by "endless meetings about long-term targets, most of which weren't going well," one of them, Phil Aroneanu, recalled recently.

Just as Aroneanu began "falling a little into despair" at the task of slowing global carbon, the Middlebury friends got a new email from their friend and adviser Bill McKibben. Government climatologist James Hansen, he told the young greens, was setting 350 parts per million (ppm) as the atmosphere's CO2 safe zone in his newest research.

McKibben also suggested that since 350 ppm was about to become a very important climate number, why not rename their group after it? Jamie Henn, now the group's communications director, remembered his initial reaction when the email arrived during a moment of reflection on the beach: "That's totally weird."

People would undoubtedly assume the name was 360, Henn thought at the time. But then the former classmates realized that the number's initial obscurity also illustrated its potential to pique curiosity among potential converts.

Read more at E&E Publishing 

Move Beyond Coal to Clean, Renewable Energy

WNY Sierra Club Beyond Coal
 Campaign Kick-Off Meeting

Wednesday January 29th, 7:00-8:00pm
RSVP HERE! 


Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo Alliance Room
695 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo


Dirty fuels like coal and gas put WNY families at risk. Not only do they pollute our air, but it also contributes to asthma and climate change. The great news is that WNY can be a leader in clean energy.  We're starting to use our historic manufacturing base as an example of what is possible in a clean energy future, but we can do a lot more.  All we need is for Gov. Cuomo to step up and be a hero for renewable energy.  You can help make that happen!

So please join us at our Kick-Off Meeting on Wednesday, January 29th at 7:00pm to learn more about the campaign and how you can help. With enough people involved, we can introduce new clean energy programs for the state of New York, making our transition from coal to clean energy possible!
RSVP here, and bring a friend!

Don’t renew National Fuel’s gas lease in Allegany State Park

By Larry Beahan

National Fuel Gas owns a lease on 9,000 acres of Allegany State Park. It can drill storage wells as it sees fit anywhere in that area. The lease ends in June 2014. Let’s not renew it.

National Fuel has been in Allegany State Park too long. For 50 years, its 12 gas storage wells and the tangle of roads that service them have kept 9,000 acres in the heart of the park from returning to natural forest. Now its website advertises the possibility that it will increase the number of these wells.

Few park visitors know it is there. The park neither prevents nor encourages visitors hiking in this huge area. The National Fuel right of way is an ample gravel road that starts from halfway between ASP-1 and ASP-2 on France Brook Road and winds north toward Red House Lake. Both of these major highways are inside the leased territory and it stretches beyond them to the east and west, even including the 350-year-old old-growth hemlocks in the Big Basin [click map to enlarge].

A barrier across the storage well road prevents driving farther, so your hiking tour begins at the barrier. Go take a look for yourself. See the acre-sized clear-cuts around the 12 storage wells and the roads slicing up the forest. Or tour the wells on your computer via Google Earth. Google shows this road system laid out like a human victim in a crime-scene sketch.

It is an ecological crime. What could be a hundred-year-old intact forest has fallen victim to the fossil fuel industry. A hundred years ago, most of the park was cleared of its trees, crisscrossed by hundreds of miles of logging railroads and pocked with 200 gas and oil wells. Eighty-five percent of the park has been allowed to cover these scars with oaks, maples, beech and ash. National Fuel’s 15 percent of the park remains cluttered and broken.

Perhaps that made sense 100 years ago, but New York State has now recognized the global warming consequences of using gas, oil and coal as energy sources. We are on track to have 30 percent of our energy sourced from wind, sun and water by 2015. Closing those wells moves us in the right direction.

Two years in a row, National Fuel has been criticized for paying executives too much, including $7.5 million to its chief executive, the highest salary in Western New York. Last year, National Fuel Gas made 2 percent more profit than the New York State Public Service Commission, charged with regulating utilities, considered to be fair. The PSC is forcing National Fuel to repay us $7.5 million of this excess profit.

It is time for the people of New York State to reclaim their 9,000 acres of Allegany forest as well. Call the governor or write him a letter. Tell him we want our woods back. Tell him: Do not renew that lease. Tell the governor to tell National Fuel: Go take a hike.

Larry Beahan is conservation chairman of the Sierra Club Niagara Group.

Original article, without the map, appeared as an op-ed in The Buffalo News

Friday, January 10, 2014

Poloncarz Approves Fracking Ban in Erie County

The law bans fracking on all land owned by Erie County

Report from WGRZ.com 

BUFFALO, N.Y.- Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz approved legislation Friday to ban hydraulic fracturing on all lands owned by Erie County. 

"Protecting our land and water resources is important to preserving our heritage," said Poloncarz in a statement on his decision to approve the local law. 

The Erie County Legislature passed the fracking ban in December by a 9-2 vote. The ban also received overwhelming support in public hearings leading up to the vote. 

A moratorium on fracking has been in effect throughout New York State since 2008 but Governor Andrew Cuomo has not yet announced if he will ban the practice altogether. 

If Cuomo decides to lift the moratorium, fracking would only be allowed on all privately owned land and non-county owned sewage treatment facilities in Erie County.

Poloncarz approves fracking ban on county-owned land

Report from WBFO:

One local anti-fracking group says it is pleased with the county executive's approval.

“We’re relieved that County Executive Poloncarz paid attention to the thousands of Erie County residents who spoke up in favor of a ban and the bipartisan group of Erie County legislators who voted in favor of it. The evidence is clear – fracking and its waste brings unacceptable risks of water contamination and health impacts. Erie County and the other counties statewide that have voted for a ban are sending a clear message to Governor Cuomo – that all parts of New York want him to ban fracking," said Rita Yelda of Food & Water Watch and Western NY Drilling Defense.


See also: Poloncarz Approves Fracking Law

Poloncarz stated “I am approving Local Law Intro. No. 4-2013 based on the demonstrated support of the public, as well as the support shown by a majority of Erie County legislators who expressed their concern about hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and disposal of fracking waste in Erie County. 

He added that the law "bans it on County-owned lands such as Parks, in addition to prohibiting the acceptance of fracking waste at Erie County-owned sewage treatment facilities."

He concluded that "...the overwhelming and vocal public support for such a ban cannot be ignored."

Link to the full statement at the Erie County website.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Fracking Waste: Dangerous Spills and Road Spreading

Exxon to Face Criminal Charges for 50,000+ Gallon Fracking Wastewater Spill

Exxon Mobil Corp. subsidiary XTO Energy will have to face criminal charges for allegedly dumping tens of thousands of gallons of fracking waste at a Marcellus Shale drilling site in 2010, according to a Pennsylvania judge’s ruling on Thursday.

Following a preliminary hearing, Magisterial District Judge James G. Carn decided that all eight charges against Exxon — including violations of both the state Clean Streams Law and the Solid Waste Management Act — will be “held for court,” meaning there is enough evidence to take the fossil fuel giant to trial over felony offenses.

Pennsylvania’s Attorney General filed criminal charges back in September, claiming Exxon had removed a plug from a wastewater tank, leading to 57,000 gallons of contaminated water spilling into the soil. 

Thanks to laws pushed by corporate front groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), sponsored by ExxonMobil, states have allowed minimum disclosure of the chemicals used in the fluid. Though Pennsylvania does now require disclosure to regulators, it has a “gag rule” banning doctors from talking about the health risks.

The most recent study of health risks related to fracking was released in mid-December by the journal Endocrinology, which found the presence of hormone-disrupting chemicals in surface water and groundwater samples in Garfield County, Colorado — one county at the center of the U.S. fracking boom. The chemicals have been linked to infertility, birth defects, and cancer.
Read more at ThinkProgress.


New York’s Fracking Waste Problem | UPDATE


Even though the de facto moratorium on high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing in New York State continues, the disposal of waste from hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations is occurring in New York now and deserves our attention. The extraction of natural gas using fracking produces large amounts of liquid and solid waste that can contain a number of harmful pollutants, including salts (sometimes expressed as total dissolved solids or TDS); chemical additives, which may include ethylene glycol, naphthalene, and sulfuric acid; metals; organic compounds; and other contaminants. Fracking waste from extraction activities in the Marcellus Shale can also contain naturally-occurring radioactive materials (NORMs) such as radium-226 and radium-228.

In July 2013, [Hudson] Riverkeeper wrote to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and requested information about one method of handling fracking waste that New York is currently allowing: the use of production brine from conventional, low-volume fracking on New York roads for de-icing, dust control, and road stabilization. Specifically, we asked the agency to provide information regarding its approvals – known as Beneficial Use Determinations or BUDs – of the use of natural gas production brine for road spreading from June 2011 to July 2013.

UPDATE: Further review shows that road spreading of natural gas production brine has been approved for use in portions of at least 23 municipalities in 7 western New York counties: Wyoming, Erie, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Genessee, Niagara, and Seneca. Road spreading of natural gas brine from natural gas storage has been approved in at least 10 municipalities in 2 western New York Counties: Allegany and Steuben. In addition, the New York State Department of Transportation Region 6 received approval to spread what appears to be brine from natural gas storage on state roads in portions of Steuben, Allegany, Chemung, Schuyler, and Yates Counties.

Read more at Hudson Riverkeeper.

For additional details, see The Facts about New York and Fracking Waste at Hudson Riverkeeper.



Public Statement on Fracking Waste -- By Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper


High standards of excellence are needed to protect Buffalo Niagara's local waterways. Careful consideration must be employed in how we use and apply various chemicals in our community.

In January 2012, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper prepared a 9 page technical document regarding High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF), which concluded that "HVHF activities cannot be conducted in a manner that is protective of both human health and the environment until issues related to water quality and water quantity impacts are resolved."

In response to our recent technical review of the Beneficial Use Determination (BUD) by NYSDEC, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper supports a ban on the road application of shallow well or storage brine as a de-icing agent.  (The permit does not allow application in wet weather, or when rain is imminent, or within 50 feet of any stream, creek, lake or other body of water. The BUD permit as written does not allow use of "flow back" brine, nor the use of byproduct from Marcellus Shale HVHF.)

Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper has additional concern about lack of control and monitoring associated with current use of shallow-well brine for road application as dust suppression. The testing conducted to submit a BUD application is a snapshot in time that does not adequately monitor the inherent fluctuation of levels of chemical constituents that vary over the production life of each well or brine source.  More robust testing, monitoring and regulation is needed.

Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper supports a ban on any WNY wastewater facility to accept HVHF wastewater.  Riverkeeper's technical comments in 2012 stated, "In New York State, there are no municipal or industrial wastewater facilities in existence that currently have the ability to accept, adequately process or treat high volume hydrofracking wastewater."

To view Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper's technical documents regarding high volume hydrofracking, Click Here.

~ Fracking Wastewater Pit ~

Albany Rally - No to Fracking, Yes to Renewable Energy [UPDATED - Breaking News]

 Critical Crossroads for NY State -- Fracking vs. Renewable Energy.

In one direction is fracking, leading to further catastrophic dependence on fossil fuels. That path is lined with drill rigs, contaminated rivers and water wells, smog and toxic air, dangerous pipelines, compressor stations, and other infrastructure, and poisoned farms. It leads to a future with worse climate change, super storms and public health disasters.

In the other direction – Governor Cuomo and the people of New York say no to fracking and instead embrace renewable energy. That path leads to good jobs, healthy families, and sustainable homes and communities. New York can step up and show the nation and the world a place where people can live, work and thrive without dirty and dangerous extreme energy. We can take a stand for public health and clean water. We can champion and support our jobs in agriculture and tourism and continue to develop more jobs in efficiency and renewable energy like wind and solar.

Governor Cuomo has announced a decision will be made before the 2014 election and the fate of our state is at stake.

New Yorkers Against Fracking and supporting organizations will rally in Albany at the State of the State Address on Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 in order for Governor Cuomo to see that the will of the people of New York is to say no to fracking and yes to a healthy, renewable energy future.

~  ~  ~ 
UPDATED - BREAKING NEWS: Associated Press - January 8, 1:04 PM

NY energy plan released; doesn't include fracking
ALBANY, N.Y. - (AP) -- New York's long-term energy plan focuses on increased use of renewable energy and clean technology, while reducing consumer utility bills.

The plan, released Tuesday for a 60-day public comment period, calls for expanding use of natural gas instead of oil to reduce harmful air emissions. But it doesn't include expanding in-state gas production through hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale.

The 2009 version touted the economic and energy policy benefits of tapping New York's shale gas resources. But the 2014 plan takes no position for or against fracking, noting that state officials are reviewing health and environmental concerns. New York has had a moratorium on fracking since an environmental review was launched in 2008.

Six public hearings will be held on the plan.

Link: Wall Street Journal.
See also www.energyplan.ny.gov

Friday, January 3, 2014

Erie County, Partners Advance Preparations on Watershed Management Plan

ERIE COUNTY, NY- The Erie County Department of Environment & Planning (DEP), in partnership with the Lake Erie Watershed Protection Alliance (LEWPA) and Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, has announced plans to begin Phase II of the Regional Niagara River/Lake Erie Watershed Management Plan following their successful application for New York State Consolidated Funding, which resulted in an award of $507,830 from the NYS Department of State to pursue the Plan. This project builds on three years of effort by Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper for Phase I of a Niagara River Watershed Management Plan and is a continuation of a community-based watershed planning effort to improve and protect all of Western New York's water resources.

“As I stated in my ‘Initiatives for a Smart Economy’ address [link below], the protection and restoration of the health and integrity of Western New York’s fresh water systems is not only sound environmental policy but also represents a smart investment in our economic future,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz.


“Clean, healthy and accessible waterways are essential to the environmental health and continuing economic recovery of Western New York. I commend the DEP and their partners for the good work they are doing and for the positive legacy that will remain when they have completed the Plan.”


Phase II efforts will integrate the remaining sub-watersheds within the Lake Erie Watershed to develop a comprehensive, regionally-based Watershed Management Plan for Western New York. This phase will also address numerous ongoing and emerging water quality issues in order to help attract and support a multitude of recreation, tourism, and commercial businesses.

“We are a Great Lakes region, with two major coastal cities and a numerous waterfront communities that share access to 95% of North America’s fresh water”, said Jill Jedlicka, Executive Director of Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper.  “It is evident that our regional economic revitalization directly correlates to how we embrace, protect and enhance the quality of our water, and this planning effort helps us maximize these resources without sacrificing our quality of life and environment”.

Lake Erie and the Niagara River are both valued as natural resources, economic engines, sources of power, and for aesthetic and recreational purposes. However, the impairments of the Lake Erie-Niagara River Basin create real costs for WNY, severely undermining both their quality-of-life and their full economic development potential. When complete, the Watershed Management Plan will provide a blueprint for municipalities to maximize the economic benefits of the watershed while minimizing environmental impacts on it.

The mission of the Lake Erie Watershed Protection Alliance is to foster collaboration and partnerships within the watershed to address regional water quality and quantity concerns and in doing so, protect and enhance our Lake Erie resource.

For more information: