Burtis Bay Cleanup Underway

Cleanup of Burtis Bay. Image by Justin Gould/WNYNewsNow. 04/29/19.

CELORON – A multi-step cleanup plan to remove decomposing weeds from Burtis Bay is underway.

Chautauqua County Director of Public Facilities Brad Bentley told WNYNewsNow Monday morning that an excavator is digging out and pulling up decomposing weeds. Crews will then move the “sludge” to a drying site in Celoron.

“This location, at the end of the lake where the water billows, is a collection point for many of the weeds,” said Bentley. “It is unfortunate we got to it this late, but through today’s event we are here to help; with an excavator, and some trucks to help get this stuff removed.”

Bentley said that removing the phosphorus from the lake will ultimately cut down on weed growth.

Cleanup of Burtis Bay. Image by Justin Gould/WNYNewsNow. 04/29/19.

Last November, Burtis Bay homeowners attended a Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance) board meeting to bring attention to the extreme conditions along their lakefront properties.

Through a combination of excessive floating aquatic vegetation, high water levels and high winds, property owners experienced large deposits of weeds and a fish kill in Burtis Bay.

Chautauqua County and the Alliance responded by working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to determine a practical option for removing the weeds.

A total of $73,000 in funding was secured for the emergency project through contributions from Chautauqua County, the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, and the Alliance.

The area of the bay to receive work is approximately 2,950 linear-feet of shoreline that stretches from the southern end of the Ellicott Town Park to the northernmost point of Burtis Bay at the Ellicott Shores Apartment, which is just north of the lakeshore terminus of Duquesne Street in the Village of Celoron.

The project, which is subdivided into three work areas, will include waterside and landside efforts with multiple partners.

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