Governor signs legislation to make Scajaquada Creek eligible for increased state and federal grant funding
New York State Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-I- Buffalo, and New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan, D-WF-Buffalo, announced Wednesday that legislation they sponsored in the Senate and Assembly has passed and been signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The legislation (S2075, A836) adds Scajaquada Creek to the state list that defines inland waterways.
Prior to this new law, the list did not include Scajaquada Creek, which meant it was not eligible for state and federal grants under the New York State Environmental Protection Fund's Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. Adding Scajaquada Creek to this list will allow funding from the EPF-LWRP to be used to improve water quality and assist with cleanup efforts along the creek.
"This new law will allow the Scajaquada Creek to become eligible for federal funding that can be used to cleanup and revitalize this body of water," Grisanti said. "Our water is our most precious natural resource, and getting laws passed that (positively) impact the Scajaquada Creek not only helps the creek itself, but provides much-needed resources to the communities that boarder the creek."
"The continued restoration and future health of Scajaquada Creek requires a long-term commitment, and increased funding is critical component of the overall strategy," Ryan said. "This new law will help to continue these restoration efforts, and I am thankful to Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper for helping Sen. Grisanti and I make this law a reality."
Jill Jedlicka, executive director of Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, said, "Scajaquada Creek has been abandoned, abused and ignored for far too long. Legislative actions such as this, that are in direct response to the demands of the community, demonstrate again how local collaborative efforts are leading to the restoration and revitalization of one our valued waterways."
The EPF-LWRP has been administered by the New York State Department of State since 1994. Since the program's inception, 1,164 LWRP grants have been awarded totaling more than $169 million. With Scajaquada Creek being added to the list, the City of Buffalo and groups such as Riverkeeper will be eligible for funding to improve the creek and the surrounding land.