Camp Cleanup

CLA Makes Shores Swimmable For Campers

Lakewood, NY — The Chautauqua Lake Association recently cleaned up the shores of Camp Onyahsa, located in the northeastern part of the lake.

“The crews and cutters did a great job,” Jon O’Brian, Camp Onyahsa Director said. “Children have been heavily impacted by the COVID crisis over the past fifteen months, and really need the outdoor, active social experiences that camps provide.”

Onyahsa has a gently sloping, shallow bottom bay into which water from the watershed flows from Dewittville Creek. “We believe there is a nutrient infiltration into the lake, perhaps from the creek, which is pushed by the prevailing winds into our swimming and boating areas causing periodic blooms of filamental algae,” O’Brian said. “The conditions in mid-June were very poor with a mass of growth floating on the top of the lake and the decaying weed was producing bad smells.”

The camp director contacted the CLA on June 17 after attempting to clean the area themselves. Within days, the shoreline for the camp in the northern basin was cleared by CLA cutters and crew.

“The conditions are good now, and our day and resident youth campers are enjoying boating and swimming activities,” O’Brian said. “The smell is gone too!”

Heather Nolan-Caskey, Administrative and Community Services Manager, is very proud of the CLA crew’s accomplishment. “The kids did a tremendous job. It was a huge improvement.”

This Camp Onyahsa cleanup is normal activity for the CLA shoreline crews. Throughout the summer, crews are on the lake cleaning up debris and harvesting weeds as part of the CLA’s unique program designed to provide safe waterways.

“Just be patient. We will be around,” Nolan-Caskey said. “These are the results that people are seeing in areas we have been to.”

For more information about the Chautauqua Lake Association’s shoreline service, please call 716-763-8602.