Jane Conroe is the Vice Chair of the Chautauqua-Conewango Consortium. Ruth Lundin introduced her, noting that the Environment has become the 7th Area of Focus for Rotary.
 
Jane Conroe has lived in the area since she and Doug moved here in 1980 and her love, knowledge and commitment to the area waters has grown as she raised her family here, then taught, and finally worked for water issues with Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy in addition to volunteering for other organizations. She currently is vice-chair of the Chautauqua-Conewango Consortium. It is a new organization that serves as a voice of protection for our region’s water, both surface and ground, and all of the creatures who depend on it.  It is a Waterkeeper Alliance Affiliate under the auspices of Conewango Creek Watershed Association (CCWA). Waterkeeper Alliance affiliates are in 45 different countries. CCWA is celebrating its 20th anniversary. It promotes stewardship in the Conewango Creek watershed-which includes Chautauqua Lake.  
 
Every year since 2008 the CCWA has done a river cleanup. Starting in 2015 they included the Chautauqua Lake Outlet with the support of the Chautauqua Lake Association.
 
In 2020 the groups could not do a clean-up. In 2021 CCWA and the Consortium are coordinating small-group/individual clean-up actions throughout the watershed, from Bear Lake to Chautauqua Lake all the way down through Warren to where the Conewango flows into the Allegheny River.
 
This year, the time and place in the month of May is up to each group or individual.  A person can clean anywhere. Even litter and trash on the roadside are targeted, since it may only be a rainfall or two away from being in our waterways.
 
Everyone is asked to register at www.conewangocreek.org . In the end there will be a reporting piece both for CCWA and Rotary, which wants to report the effort. CCWA will be reporting by kitchen trash bag and is making a special effort to identify the quantity of plastic. Posting pictures to the CCWA Facebook page or emailing them to info@conewangocreek.org is encouraged. Evergreen Outfitters and Tanner’s Garage will have supplies. Prizes for volunteers are appreciated.
 
More information on how Rotary will participate in this and other clean-ups will be forthcoming since there will be some on Lake Erie in April as a part of District 7090 Great Lakes Cleanup in addition to the Chautauqua Lake efforts.  
 
Jane noted that the Chautauqua-Conewango Consortium is all volunteer-run and is currently chaired by Melanie Smith. She encouraged us to go to the website www.cccwaters.org.
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