BUFFALO, N.Y. — As we approach Earth Day, with renewed efforts for environmental protection, more taxpayer dollars will flow toward a local agency involved with water quality.
They will be focused on the long-suffering Scajaquada Creek.
Overall, $901,000 in federal taxpayer-supported funding will be used to come up with a plan to help cleanup the Scajaquada Creek, and unfortunately with all the debris, it's not an easy solution.
The Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper says it will use this government grant to actually plan out a comprehensive cleanup for the Scajaquada. It is tied to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and stems from the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment Act and the $737 billion Inflation Reduction Act.
Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper Jill Jedlicka says, "It means that we will have the information, the roadmap to actually do the restoration project."
Some of that funding will be used to pay consultants to work out a plan, as well as various outreach programs to explain the process.
Various runoff situations and insufficient sewers in areas such as Cheektowaga, where tens of millions have been earmarked for upgrades, have caused issues for the 13-mile waterway. It starts in Lancaster and also wanders through parts of Depew and actually underground in parts of East Buffalo and Black Rock.
2 On Your Side asked Jedlicka, "Can you effectively do work here when that's not taken care of yet?
Jedlicka responded: "Absolutely. Imagine parallel trains down a track. Cleaning up a river system is not a linear process. You don't wait for A to be done before you start B, and this is the model, the Buffalo River model that we use, there's at least five, six, seven different activities that you can have in different segments of the stream system that ultimately will all result in a comprehensive cleanup. There is a lot happening in Cheektowaga, which is a great thing. A lot happening in the sewer authority."
We're told that that funding will cover a three-year period. It will be used more-so to reach out to those on the East Side of Buffalo and outlying areas such as Cheektowaga and Depew so that people living there can also be involved in the overall cleanup project.