Assemblymembers Wallace and Ryan secure funding for Scajaquada Creek watershed

August 2, 2017

Assemblymember Monica Wallace (D-Lancaster) and Assemblyman Sean Ryan (D-Buffalo) announced that they secured $1 million in the 2017-18 state budget for infrastructure repairs and clean-up efforts to the Scajaquada Creek watershed.

“Water pollution is putting the health of our communities at risk. It’s harming our environment, our wildlife, and poses a serious risk to our families,” said Wallace. “Addressing this issue is vital so we can ensure Western New York water is clean and safe. This is a long term project that I will continue fighting for to protect our communities and future generations.”

Over the years, the watershed has suffered from sewage overflow, which has directly impacted wildlife and raised concerns about the health and safety of surrounding communities. Scajaquada Creek begins in Lancaster, flowing through Depew, Cheektowaga and Buffalo before reaching the Black Rock Canal and Niagara River, and ultimately, Lake Erie.

"This critical funding from New York State will help to clean up Scajaquada Creek and begin investing in upgrades to improve the future health of the creek,” said Ryan. “We recognize that significantly more funding will be needed for efforts to clean up Scajaquada Creek. This funding is an important step forward. Our eventual goal is to have a Scajaquada Creek that is healthy, swimmable, fishable, and poses no threat to the general public. I will continue to fight for state resources to make this goal a reality."

Nearly 500 million gallons of sewage overflow is dumped in to the creek each year.[1] The pollution problem has plagued Scajaquada Creek for decades. In 1993, the DEC reported five-foot-deep portions of sludge at the creek’s bed and fecal bacteria levels 20 times higher than what’s considered safe for recreational use.[2]

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[1] http://www.investigativepost.org/2014/07/17/the-scajaquada-crippled-creek

[2] Ibid