Every summer, the Cummins Engine Employee Volunteer Program assists the CLA with aquatic vegetation removal and shoreline maintenance around Chautauqua Lake. New this year, the global diesel engine manufacturer donated and installed several informational signs at key boat launches around the lake. The signs provide boaters and fishermen with information on how to inspect watercraft for the presence of invasive species along with actions that might be necessary to remove and dispose of hitchhiking plants that are found on watercrafts and trailers.
More than 60 volunteers donated their time to this project this summer, for over 240 volunteer hours total.
“We’re very thrilled to continue our relationship with Cummins JEP,” said Doug Conroe, executive director for the Chautauqua Lake Association. “Cummins has always been very helpful with lake maintenance and the sign donation was a great (and welcomed) important action,” said Conroe. The state Department of Environmental Conservation is working on making boat launch and marina signage mandatory due to the increase in nuisance aquatic vegetation moving from one body of water to another. Foreign plant spores can attach themselves to boats, trailers, etc. and invade new bodies of water at a rapid pace. The signs are a proactive approach to get lake users to clean their equipment properly before moving to a new location.
Five locations around the lake received a new sign including the NYSDEC Boat Launch in Bemus Point, Lakewood Community Park and Launch, Long Point State Park Marina, Lucille Ball Memorial Park in Celoron, and Mayville’s Lakeside Park. Cummins volunteers along with the CLA crew dug holes, placed the signs, and cleaned shorelines, lake frontage, and parking areas. The day also had two barges of volunteers doing shoreline work in the Mayville area. Earlier in the week there was another volunteer crew that was being filmed for a Cummins training video.
“We have been talking about installing invasive species signage around the lake for a while. We were having trouble finding funding. Thanks to Cummins JEP, we no longer have to worry about that and we can be a leader in healthy, proactive lake maintenance,” said Conroe.