Introduction: The Genesee River Watershed.
The Genesee River and its watershed is a major tributary to Lake Ontario. The river originates in the Allegheny Plateau in the town of Ulysses, Potter County, Pennsylvania, about fifteen miles south of the New York State border (GFLRPC, 2004). The river flows north through Allegheny, Livingston, and Monroe Counties and forming a portion of two borders between Livingston County and Wyoming or Monroe Counties. Letchworth State Park runs along the Genesee River encapsulating 14,350 acres of the watershed and contains the “Grand Canyon of the East” a gorge 550 feet deep and six miles long.
Section 1: The Genesee River Watershed Today
According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) the Genesee River Watershed (GRW) in New York covers 2373 square miles of land over most or portions of nine counties (2010). Within New York, the watershed contains 5048 miles of river and streams that connect to the Genesee River's 144 miles of Lake Ontario tributary. Cassadaga Creek is the largest tributary to the Genesee River the next largest three are Honeoye Creek, Oatka Creek and Black Creek. There are thirty-one substantial freshwater bodies within the watershed equaling 13,288 acres. The four largest bodies are Conesus Lake, Mount Morris Reservoir, Hemlock Lake, and Honeoye Lake (NYSDEC, 2010).
The land use within the watershed is diverse, comprised of lands ranging from mixed urban, agricultural, forested, wetland, and rural residential, commercial and industrial. Agricultural land covers approximately fifty-two percent of the watershed and forested lands occupy forty percent. The remaining eight percent is a mix of developed land, non-developed, wetlands...
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...of selling timber. However the over harvesting of a stand can cause massive land degradation. NYDEC could put tighter restrictions on how a stand can be harvested this could allow for a sustainable harvest and still promote the other benefits of foresting.
Repair to older failing sewage systems needs to be a priority. The septic systems that are outdated should also be a priority. The cost for these repairs would be too much for many homeowners. A grant or tax incentive may be a way to make these repairs more affordable.
Education for all stakeholders and representatives is a necessity. To form a solid collaborative base in remediation the people and groups involved need to know what is expected or needed from them. They also need to know that consenting to a project that may not be their favorite idea but to benefit the entirety it may be necessary.