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In a place surrounded by large and notable lakes, sometimes Genesee County residents overlook the Tonawanda Creek.

Elizabeth Bentley-Huber is a technician for the Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District. She and other members of the Tonawanda Creek Watershed Committee want people to realize that toxins poured into drains can reach the creek, damaging a local natural resource.

“One of the biggest misconceptions that people don’t realize is that their water is not treated between going into the drain and outletting at the creek," she said. "So whatever chemicals and pollutants it picks up, it is directly washed into the creek.”

To spread the word about not dumping pollutants down drains that could affect the creek, the Tonawanda Creek Watershed Committee has purchased 1,000 medallions to place on storm drains. Committee members are going out each Saturday as volunteers and affixing the medallions to storm drains.

Bentley-Huber said the creek could really become a bigger part of our community as an attraction for people interested in outdoor recreation.

“That’s a lot of nice boating, that if that creek was opened up for recreation – and with the economy the way it is, people are looking for more inexpensive recreational things to do,” she said. 

One of the biggest problems is clearing out the 43-mile crooked stretch of creek between Attica and Batavia. Log jams on the long, flat stretch can be a big problem, especially for boaters.

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