Work On Jamestown’s Chadakoin River Likely To Begin Next Month

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JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) — Work to repair and restore Jamestown’s Chadakoin river is expected to begin sometime in April.

Since the founding of the City of Jamestown, the Chadakoin River has played a vital role in both the community and economy. However, the waterway now faces many problems, including  blockages, collapsing banks, and littering debris.

Director of Conservation at the CHQ Watershed Twan Leenders is ready to help the Chadakoin River.

“It has a number of vertical stumps and all kinds of debris that has accumulated over decades in there,” explained Leenders. “Two of the different projects actually involve clearing those out as soon as possible.”

Each spring the river experiences constant flooding in swampy regions of Jones & Gifford Avenue. With funding in hand, environmentalists will attack the source of the problem: beaver dams blocking water flow.

“Any of the wetlands on either side of Jones & Gifford avenue drain into Canal Street, and then eventually drain back into the Chadakoin River,“ stated Leenders. “These beaver dams that have been in place for several years now have actually blocked the outflow of Canal Street, and as a result backed up all of the water in Canal Street onto Jones & Gifford. So the repeated flooding that you encounter routinely after a big storm or snowmelt is actually imminently preventable.” 

Another problem is with river banks downtown. These areas have been undercut by several feet, due to water level maintenance.

In addition, the only thing keeping current banks from collapsing is a slew of dead, dying, and undesirable flora holding them together.  

“We’ve been joking how the only native plants that live on that bank right now are Poison Ivy,“ explained Leenders. “Everything else really needs to go, unfortunately. But the thing is, once these trees are removed, and some of them are true health hazards at this point. They could truly go at any moment. That will be the last thing that keeps these banks in place.”  

Jamestown’s city council approved almost $328,000 dollars to the Watershed in American Rescue Plan Act Funding. In addition to previous approvals of $35,000 dollars.

The Watershed hopes to have all of this work completed before the dams open up in May.


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