Watershed Management Plan

Niagara River/Lake Erie Watershed Map with sub-watersheds

The New York State Department of State awarded Erie County $507,830 to continue the Niagara River Watershed Management Plan (completed by Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper) and expand it to now include the Lake Erie watershed. The “Regional Niagara River/Lake Erie Watershed Management Plan - Phase 2” project will take place from 2014-2019. Read the press release from the award of funding.

Stakeholders will be engaged throughout the process to gain additional information as we expand the geography of this Plan to include southern Erie County, Cattaraugus County, and Chautauqua County, as well as create in-depth implementation plans for 5 prioritized sub-watersheds in the Niagara River region. Erie County and the Lake Erie Watershed Protection Alliance (LEWPA), with stakeholder involvement, will update the Watershed Atlas, that lists existing reports and data, to include the new Lake Erie watershed area. They will also update the Watershed Characterization Report in order to provide information on the makeup of each sub-watershed draining to Lake Erie. This information is critical for planning a region that protects and improves our water resources. In addition, Erie County will expand upon an existing local law assessment and will update the Watershed Citizen’s Guide.

Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper will focus on data collection, water quality sampling, and implementation plans in the five prioritized sub-watersheds of the Niagara River region: Upper Tonawanda Creek, Lower Tonawanda Creek, Buffalo River, Smoke(s) Creek, and Eighteenmile Creek. This work in Erie, Genesee, Niagara, and Wyoming counties builds upon Phase 1 of the project. They will also develop a workshop to educate municipalities on watershed issues, as well as develop an Urban Creek Corridor Restoration—Community Engagement Model for Scajaquada Creek. More information is available at bnwaterkeeper.org/projects/healthyniagara/

A one-page handout describing the plan is available for download

Community Outreach and Participation Plan has been created to outline how the community will be engaged throughout this process including how the public will be able to provide input and how they will be educated on the findings. Active participation and stakeholder involvement is key to developing a comprehensive and successful watershed-wide management plan. Stakeholders such as citizens, community groups, environmental organizations, businesses, agencies, and public officials will have opportunities, as detailed in the plan, to shape the resulting findings and recommendations.

  • The Final Draft Regional Niagara River/Lake Erie Watershed Management Plan - Phase 2 Niagara River/ Lake Erie Atlas and Bibliography is out. This is a collection of existing data for the watershed as depicted in maps. It also includes existing reports and is organized by county or sub-watershed. The interactive maps can be viewed online through the NYS Department of State. Click "view" and search for "Lake Erie" to get a list of 30 data layers available for the Niagara River/Lake Erie Watershed.
  • The Final Draft of the five Sub-watershed Implementation Plans are out as well. Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper has released their reports from two years of field study in five sub-watersheds. You can access the draft reports from their website for Phase 2 work including water quality results and recommended actions.
  • The draft Chapter 7 of the Watershed Characterization Report is available. You can access the table from the draft of chapter 7 that describes the federal, state, and large-scale local water quality projects that have been recently completed or are underway in the watershed. This table is searchable by clicking on any of the underlined headers. The rest of the Plan will be made available online once the final draft is completed.

Please fill out the comment form with any comments or questions regarding this project or the drafts released.

For information on Phase 1 of the Watershed Management Plan, please visit Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper's Healthy Niagara website

This website was prepared for the New York State Department of State with funds provided under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund.

Last updated: March 19, 2019 3:09pm