Reconnecting 10 landlocked areas to the Allegany Reservoir improves resiliency for tribal community and wildlife
Last edited 10/21/2015
Contact: Rob Blumenthal (NFWF),Rob.Blumenthal@NFWF.org, 202-595-2457
A $350,000 project to restore riparian buffer and reconnect 10 landlocked areas to the Allegany Reservoir improves resiliency for Seneca Nation’s tribal community and wildlife.
In June 2014, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) awarded $350,000 to the Seneca Nation of Indians to restore a riparian buffer and reconnect 10 landlocked areas to the Allegany Reservoir in Cattaraugus County.
When fully completed, the project will restore 15 acres of hydrology and floodplain, provide new fish habitat, increase water quality and reconnect 19 miles of fish passage. The reconnection of land-locked areas will strengthen the Seneca Nation’s unique and harmonious relationship with previously lost habitat and wildlife and alleviate more than 60 years of community flooding. Additionally, the Seneca Nation will continue to build upon these resiliency benefits by increasing their resiliency capacity and developing a community educational tool.
This summer, four tribal youth interns created 2000 artificial fish habitat structures (fish habitat clusters and post clusters). Unpredictable weather contributes to the loss of fish habitat in spawning and nursery areas, so the fish habitat clusters will be placed in 12 key areas to provide shelter, food and a nursery. The post clusters will be placed along the shoreline to reduce erosion, catch sediment, restore vegetation, and also act as a nursery. Both sets of clusters will be placed this winter once the Allegany Reservoir has fully drained. Additionally, accumulated debris will be removed next winter to reconnect the 10 landlocked areas to the Allegany Reservoir. The landlocked areas are currently resulting in tens of thousands of fish dying from water evaporation, lack of oxygen and predation.
Funding for this project is provided through the Department of Interior’s Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grant Program administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
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