Chautauqua Lake Cleanup Report

Chautauqua Lake Cleanup 2017

The Chautauqua Lake Cleanup was held on Saturday, May 21 from 8 am to 2:30pm.  There were 43 volunteers who collected 61 tires, 20 cubic yards of trash and 1040 pounds mixed metals.  This third annual cleanup was co-hosted by Conewango Creek Watershed Association (CCWA), Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, Chautauqua Co. Soil and Water Conservation District and Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance.  The Chautauqua Lake Fishing Association provided their property as the main staging area.  They also provided coffee, doughnuts and a hot dog and hamburger lunch to the volunteers as a small thank you for their efforts.  All the hosts want to thank the volunteers and sponsors for supporting this effort.

Platinum Sponsors were Chautauqua Lake Association (CLA), Rock of WNY, and the Main Landing Restaurant.  The CLA participated for the first time this year and provided 2 barges, 2 dump trucks, the weed harvester and staff to operate the equipment.   The barges and trucks helped us get a lot of stuff out of the Lake and transport it to our staging area at the Chautauqua Lake Fishing Association.  Rock which participated for the second time, provided their barge with the crane.  It was instrumental in getting some very large and heavy stuff out of the lake.

Other sponsors were Gold Sponsors:  Evergreen Outfitters, United Refining Co, and Conewango Township. Bestway Container Solutions, Silver Sponsors included:  Great Lakes Tree Services, Inc, Cochran & Zandi Lumber, Inc, and Stiffler & McGraw.   Bronze Sponsors included:  Superior Tire and Rubber Co, Donald E Lewis Funeral Home, Whirly Drink Works, Betts Industries, Warren Industrial Solutions and Voty Insurance Agency.

Sue Nielsen, board member for CCWA stated “We got some very productive volunteers both on-land and on-water.  But we needed more people on the water.  We had plenty of canoes.   We were working in areas where the bigger boats couldn’t go so we had to collect the trash and move it out to an area where the barges could pick up the trash and tires. We needed more hands to help.  We got a lot of tires and trash, but there’s still a lot out there.”

“Of course, we need to thank Chautauqua County for registering our event as an Earth Day event and disposing of the trash and tires at no cost to us.  That is a critical element to any cleanup, the cost of disposal,” said Elizabeth Dropp, also a board member of CCWA.

On-land volunteers cleaned Celoron/ Lucille Ball Park, McCrea Point Park, the ball fields just off Jones and Gifford road as well as along Jones and Gifford Road itself. See photos below.

ROCK of WNY Supplied a barge and operator for the day

Allegheny River – 2017 River of the Year Update

Details about the River of the Celebrations Announced

Penn Soil RC&D is beginning to add information to their web page about the upcoming River of the Year activities.  Go to to learn more.

Sponsorship Materials information and application can be found there.  Don’t miss out on Supporting this Western PA and New York State celebration

Mini-Grant Program – Penn Soil is offering a min-grant program with grants up to $500 to others fund their own River of the Year Events.  See the web page for full details and application.

A Calendar of Event is being developed.  If you have event to add contact Penn Soil thru the website or call Wes Ramsey at 814-726-1441


Registration Open for Chautauqua Lake Cleanup

Chautauqua Lake Cleanup is scheduled for Sat. May 20.  Volunteer check-in and check-out will occur at the Chautauqua Lake Fishing Association in Celoron, NY.  Preregistration is required.  Click HERE to register now!

This is the third Annual Chautauqua Lake Cleanup.  Come join us in cleaning up the Lake.  Volunteer check-in will begin at 8 am.  The cleanup will run from Approximately 8 am thru 3 pm.  Coffee and doughnuts will be provided in the am and a hot dog lunch will be provided at 1 pm by the Chautauqua Lake Fishing Association.

Go to the 2017 Activities Tab  towards the top of the page for more details.

Hands On Jamestown Volunteer Clean-up Day – May 21

On Saturday, May 21 Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is having their annual Hands On Jamestown volunteer clean-up day. They are looking for someone to help clean the Chadakoin River downtown in front of the Warner Dam as part of this event.  Coffee, donuts, and water for our volunteers as well as gloves and garbage bags will be provided.  For more information, see the two websites below: and

Information provided by:
Edwin Rodriguez Jr.
Events and Marketing Associate
Jamestown Renaissance Corporation
119-121 West Third St
Jamestown, NY 14701
716.664.2477 ext 226

7th Annual River Cleanups September 12-19, 2005

We’re gonna do it again and you can be part of it! Deadline to sign up to volunteer is Friday,September 4th.

The 2015 (7th Annual) Allegheny River/Conewango Creek Clean-up will take place from Saturday, September 12th until Saturday, September 19th, 2015. In celebration of the Conewango Creek being recognized as the 2015 Pennsylvania River of the Year, we’re planning to spend the first 3 days making our beautiful resource even more spectacular!

If you’re interested in participating in one of Warren’s “extreme cleaning events of the year!” first visit the Conewango Cleanup Page for information on the three days of our portion, including maps and locations.  Then check out the FAQ page for general information, and then head over to the Contact Us page to sign up!  FINALLY, Download the required WAIVER FORMS here:

Please download the necessary waivers, complete them in full and bring them on your scheduled cleanup day(s).

To download the American Canoe Association (ACA) Adult Waiver Click Here.

To download the ACA Minor Waiver click Here.

To download the CCWA Sept Cleanup Waiver click Here.

Volunteers have donated more than 5,800 hours and have removed more than 200 cubic yards of trash over the years. They have pulled out television sets; microwave ovens; lawn chairs; refrigerators; 55-gallon drums, more than 700 tires and have filled many bags of recyclable metal, glass, plastic and aluminum.

We look forward to another great time this year!

We Need Your Help!!

Help us make Conewango Creek the Pennsylvania River of the Year!

The Conewango Creek was nominated for 2015 PA River of the Year by the Conewango Creek Watershed Association (CCWA). The River of the Year will be determined by popular vote on the internet. We need everyone’s vote to make it. That includes all friends, relatives and family members regardless of whether they are in the Conewango Creek Watershed or in Pennsylvania. Everyone and anyone can vote if they have access to the internet and have an email address.  Spread the word to all your friends, neighbors and family! Deadline is Dec 15th. Vote now before you get caught up in holiday preparations.

Vote at

It only takes about 30 seconds to vote. Click on the Conewango Creek Photo, enter your email address and click “vote” and that’s all there is to it.

Conewango Creek


Applications were submitted which cover assets of the waterway, conservation challenges and conservation successes for the river or creek. The winning stream will be featured on a poster with that creek’s photo on it which will be distributed statewide and in the watershed. Also the winning organization will receive a $10,000 grant from PA Dept of Natural Resources and Conservation (DCNR) to celebrate the stream for one year.

If the Conewango Creek should win, the money will be used by CCWA to hold some public events to bring attention to our own local gem: The Creek itself. One requirement is to hold a sojourn or paddle trip open to the public with emphasis on education and getting people out on the water. We would like to use some of the money to have a community project to improve one of the boat launches along the lower Conewango. We plan to do something really special for our annual creek cleanup as well. Plans have yet to be finalized.

The contest is sponsored by DCNR and Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR). POWR is administering the voting on You can vote from your smart phone, tablet or computer. It’s one vote per email and per device. There are some highly populated areas we are competing with so we need a high turnout of the local people to have a chance. So ask everyone to vote for Conewango Creek.  For more information on POWR Click HERE.  For more information on DCNR’s Streams programs Click HERE.   POWR is a part of the PA Environmental Council

The Conewango Creek is a beautiful creek with a lot going for it. It really is a gem of our region with unique biodiversity. One of the purposes of the contest is to bring attention to the local streams and help people appreciate what they have in their own backyards.

Other creeks/rivers in the running are Loyalhanna Creek (SW PA), Ohio River (Pittsburgh area), Lackawanna River (NE PA), Neshaminy Creek (SE PA). The honor has only come to three streams in NW PA in the 31 years of the contest: Allegheny River, French Creek and Clarion River. The honor needs to return to NW PA for 2015!

Map with 5 Candidate Rivers
Map with 5 Candidate Rivers

The Conewango Creek is a PA based IRS designated 501 c (3) but covers the whole Conewango Creek watershed. It has board members from NYS as well as PA. Regular members come from all three counties in the watershed (Chautauqua Co. Cattaraugus Co., and Warren Co. PA.

The watershed is 900 sq. miles which is over 500,000 acres. Over half of Chautauqua County is in the Conewango Watershed and makes up 65% of the Conewango Creek watershed. Twenty percent of the watershed is on Cattaraugus Co. Only 15 % of the watershed is in Warren Co. The majority of the watershed is in NYS along with a majority of the population. That’s why we need everyone in PA and NYS to vote!

Fall 2014 Creek and River Cleanups Announced

Conewango Creek and Allegheny River Cleanups

Schedule:  We have been planning for this year’s Conewango Creek Cleanups.  That’s right:  plural: cleanups.  We will be running TWO Cleanups on the Conewango Creek this fall.  One will be on Saturday, Sept. 6th and the other on Monday, Sept. 8th.  Get those dates on your calendar!!

The Conewango Creek is part of the upper Allegheny River watershed.  In other words, the Conewango flows into the Allegheny River so anything we remove from the Conewango won’t make it to the Allegheny!  CCWA is a member of the Allegheny River Cleanup Committee that plans and coordinates the week of cleanup activities every September.  The schedule for the rest of the week is:  We are tentatively cleaning a section of the Brokenstraw Creek on Tuesday, Sept. 9. (Watch for further details to be announced.) On Friday, Sept. 12 the stretch of the Allegheny from Allegheny Outfitters Livery to Betts Park will be cleaned and on Saturday, Sept. 13 the section from Betts Park to the Buckaloons Campground will be done.

Registration:  All volunteers (including volunteers for the Conewango days) should visit the Allegheny River Cleanup to register and get additional information.  Click Allegheny River Cleanup to go to the website now.   When you register, please tell us what day(s) you want to volunteer, specify whether you want to be on the water or stay on land and if you are bringing your own canoe or kayak. If you supply your own boat, you will be responsible for transport of your own boat.  If you are not on the internet, you can call the CCWA Office at 814-726-1441 and leave the same information.  Canoes are limited and will be filled on a first come-first served basis. We also have a need for people to help with in land jobs such as pickup and transport of tires, trash, etc.

 Preparation:  All Volunteers should wear long sleeves and pants and sturdy closed shoes.  Bring your sunscreen, bug juice, cell phone, hat and a rain coat if rain looks likely.  We will supply gloves, bags, buckets etc.  Any cleanup may be cancelled at the last minute due to weather or creek/river conditions.

As more details are worked out, we will provide them here, so check back in the future.  Thanks for caring about keeping our home clean!

CCWA Honors Conservation Volunteer of the Year

Sue Nielson is 2013 Volunteer of the Year

Sue Nielson Receives Award from Katie Finch, Director
Sue Nielson Receives Award

Conewango Creek Watershed Association honored Sue Nielson of Warren, PA as the Conservation Volunteer of the Year at their Annual Meeting, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013 held at the Jamestown Audubon Society Center near Jamestown NY.

She is involved in many other community activities including other Conewango and Allegheny River projects.  She has helped with the Allegheny River cleanup for 3 years and plans to serve on the Allegheny River and Conewango Creek Cleanup Committees for the 2014 Cleanup.  She has volunteered for the Conewango Cleanup in 2012 and 2013.  She was a crew leader for the 2013 cleanup.  She volunteers using her own kayak and equipment.  According to other volunteers, she’s pretty good at balancing large loads of cleanup debris on top of her kayak in order to bring it to shore for disposal.

Sue lives in Russell right along the Conewango Creek.  Kayaking and cross country skiing are her passions right now.  She currently owns five kayaks and spends a lot of time on the Conewango Creek and the Allegheny River.  She runs a Pennsylvania licensed daycare and has attained a Star 2 Accreditation with the Keystone Stars program. She has AA degrees in Humanities and Early Childhood Education. She has three teenage children.

She is a member of the Allegheny Outdoor Club, the Warren Eagles, the Warren Women of the Moose chapter, and has recently started to get involved with the Jamestown Audubon. Sue has filled various roles in her children’s girl scouts, cub scouts & boy scout troops.  She served as President of the Warren PTO and committee head of the playground committee to construct new playgrounds at WAEC and South Street School.  She participates in the Warren Chapter of Running Revolution and is coordinating the children’s activities during the Cinco Races taking place at the Warren Mall in May.  When she’s not engaged in those past times, she is training for the Warren County Tango, the Pat Shine Memorial Race, or obstacle course mud runs.

The Conewango Creek Watershed Association is an IRS designated 501 ( c)3 nonprofit.  Our website is .  Contact us at 814-726-1441 or


Sue (right) at This Year's Conewango Cleanup
Sue (right) at This Year’s Conewango Cleanup with Just One Load of Debris.