Nowakowski Joins Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper to ‘Open’ WNY Water Season, Announces Expanded Jurisdiction to Pennsylvania Border to Mark 35th Anniversary

New boundaries of Lake Erie and Niagara River Watershed.  (Images provided by Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper)

New boundaries of Lake Erie and Niagara River Watershed. (Images provided by Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper)

Mon May 20, 2024 4:05 PM

Press release and images from Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper

Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper (BNW) was joined Monday by Buffalo Common Council member Mitch Nowakowski to recognize the opening of Western New York’s water season, while announcing a major expansion of BNW’s geographic jurisdiction in its 35th anniversary year.

The new jurisdiction in which the organization will expand its impact includes the entire eastern shoreline of Lake Erie and numerous communities within the expanded watershed up to the Pennsylvania border.

In describing the decision to officially expand the geography, Jill Jedlicka, executive director of Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper, said, “This action allows us to better integrate and engage the many diverse voices in Western New York so that our region can be better coordinated around clean water. Western New Yorkers are all Great Lakes residents who share these resources and share the same future challenges. We are excited to connect with more WNY residents through advocacy, volunteer events, idea sharing and implementation of projects to benefit our freshwater and ecosystems.”

Nowakowski said, “Today marks an important milestone for Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper and our community as their expanded jurisdiction marks a bold step toward more comprehensive water management throughout Western New York. As we celebrate their 35th anniversary, I am proud to stand with and support an organization that exemplifies environmental leadership and commitment, and I am pleased to see the continued progress in conserving our water resources for future generations.”

While Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper is known for its leading role in restoring the Buffalo River and improving ecosystems in Western New York over the past 35 years, Jedlicka described the top 10 ongoing challenges and work the organization and community are doing. should be given priority in the coming years. come:

√ Protecting our Great Lakes by building community capacity and implementing coastal resilience projects

√ Continuous monitoring of water quality for PFAS, emerging contaminants and other threats

√ Advocate for local, state and federal resources for investments in water infrastructure such as sewers, coastlines and living ecosystems

√ Collect data and advocate for solutions to eliminate plastic pollution

√ Educating the next generation to be local stewards of our Great Lakes and local waterways

√ Restoring fish and wildlife habitat, open spaces and creating green connections between our community and the natural environment,

√ Reducing the harmful effects of rainwater and nutrient runoff on our waterways

√ Cleaning up old pollution and preventing pollution of our coastlines and waterways

√ Implement water protection and restoration strategies with municipalities throughout our jurisdiction’s new watershed

√ Creating equitable access to our waterways for all members of our WNY community

Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper invites the entire community to join these efforts through volunteerism, training and education programs. For more information on how to get involved, visit our website at or via social media channels on all major platforms: @bnwaterkeeper. More information about the watershed jurisdiction expansion and action plan can be found at

Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper celebrates its 35th anniversary year with an evening at the Buffalo AKG Art Museum on Tuesday, May 21. The evening will feature food, drinks, music from Vibrant Strings and awards for outstanding water advocates, including a Lifetime Achievement Award being given to former Congressman Brian Higgins. Sponsors for the celebratory event include Gross Shuman PC, The Johnston Family Foundation, Labatt USA, Lawley, M&T Bank, Rich Products, The David & Joan Rogers Foundation, Scott Lawn Yard and UBS Financial Services Inc.

Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper is a community-based nonprofit organization that protects and restores our waters and surrounding ecosystems for the benefit of current and future generations. For more than 35 years, Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper has been the guardian of Western New York’s fresh water, protecting clean water, restoring ecosystem health, connecting people to the water, and inspiring sustainable economic growth and community engagement. For more information about the “Spring Sweep,” visit

Boundaries of the Old Niagara River Basin. (Images provided by Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper)

New boundaries of Lake Erie and Niagara River Watershed. (Images provided by Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper)