ASHVILLE - Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards joined watershed professionals and BOCES students recently to oversee the final stage of the stream bank stabilization project on a portion of Goose Creek along 4904 Route 474 in Ashville.
The $40,000 project is funded through the County's 2 percent Occupancy Tax Grant, which supports projects dedicated to the enhancement and protection of Chautauqua County's lakes and streams.
This grant was awarded to the Chautauqua County Soil and Water Conservation District (CCSWCD) and was approved by the Legislature for funding in 2012. It enables the CCSWCD to help eliminate severe erosion along a portion of Goose Creek and to prevent the discharge of sediment loads from the stream bank into Goose Creek and Chautauqua Lake.
County Executive Greg Edwards (center) helps BOCES students plant willows.
Chautauqua County Watershed Coordinator Jeff Diers, who manages the 2 percent Occupancy Tax grants and contracts, said Dave Wilson and the staff at CCSWCD have been instrumental in this project and many other 2 percent grant projects by providing much needed technical expertise on stabilization projects in the County.
To fix the bank's severe erosion, the CCSWCD installed 125 feet of limestone rip-rap along the lower bank. They also created an education experience for conservation students from Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES' Hewes Educational Center in Ashville as students were able to observe the rock rip-rap being installed and see firsthand the important techniques used to preserve our waterways.
The conservation students helped in the final stage of the project as they planted willows donated by Double A Willow in Fredonia. By incorporating this bio-engineering technique, students were able to help stabilize the upper reaches of the eroding slope.
"This project has been an excellent learning experience for our conservationists of tomorrow," said Edwards. "The Chautauqua County Soil and Water Conservation District has not only done a remarkable job in stabilizing the stream bank to preserve our waterways for recreational use, but they have also provided BOCES students with a lesson on conservation techniques."
The 2 percent Occupancy Tax Grant is funded through Chautauqua County's five percent occupancy tax or "bed tax" for the rental of lodging units within the County. Three-fifths of this revenue is utilized to increase tourism and special events while the other two-fifths is utilized to enhance and protect lakes and streams.
The Goose Creek Stream Bank Stabilization Project is one of various projects that are funded through this 2 percent Occupancy Tax Grant.
For more information about the 2 percent Occupancy Tax Grant for Chautauqua County Lakes and Waterways visit www.planningchautauqua.com.