As a wrap up of our 2015 River of the Year celebration, The Conewango Creek Watershed Association is hosting a year-end Gala on Thursday, October 22, 2015 at Jackson Valley Golf Club on Rt. 69 between North Warren and Sugar Grove. This is our last celebration event of the River of the Year events.
The Gala will start with a happy hour starting at 5:30 pm (cash bar) followed by a dinner served, buffet-style at 6:30 pm. The main course will be a “Low Country Boil” with potatoes, corn, shrimp, and sausage with spices. The price will be $21.50 per person including coffee, soft drinks, tax and gratuity. An alternate meal for those with allergies or other needs will be provided on a limited basis. RSVP by 3 PM, Monday, October 19!
After dinner our featured speaker, Robin Foster, PhD candidate from SUNY at Buffalo, NY will talk about an elusive and intriguing resident of Western New York and Northwest PA: the Eastern Hellbender. The Hellbender is a sign of the general health of a waterway and efforts are underway to to see if these primordial amphibians exist on the Conewango.
Robin Foster is a PhD Candidate at the University of Buffalo Graduate Program in Evolution, Ecology and Behavior. After several years as an elementary school teacher, she decided to pursue her passion for wildlife and began a new career in conservation biology. She obtained both her BA and MA degrees in biology from SUNY Buffalo State. Robin has been involved with eastern hellbender research and conservation since 2004. She has spent many hours in the field handling these gentle giants and is passionate about sharing these experiences with others to help spread the word about the importance of these salamanders and their freshwater habitats.
The Hellbender: Allegheny’s Living Fossil
The Eastern Hellbender is a unique aquatic salamander found only in the eastern United States. Hellbenders are “living fossils” that have remained virtually unchanged for millions of years, giving us a glimpse into our ecological past. In recent years, this iconic species has declined significantly in New York and throughout its entire range. We will discuss the natural history and conservation of this fascinating species, and learn how we can all aid in its conservation here in the Conewango watershed and throughout the Allegheny region.