Environmental Corner

Welcome to the new West Seneca Environmental Corner. Here you can find out the latest news and points of interest from the Environmental Commission.

DID YOU KNOW IT IS HARMFUL TO FEED THE DEER?

Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper presentation on Buffalo Creek Flood Plain Reconnection.

STORM DRAIN MARKING PROJECT

At the present time, the West Seneca Environmental Commission (WSEC) is composed of nine (9) members who are passionate about protecting our natural environment, which consists of the air that we breathe, the public lands that we enjoy, and our natural waterways (creeks, streams, rivers, lakes) that we use for drinking and recreation.  One way to accomplish this goal is through education of the public.

In regards to protection of our natural waterways, all residents are aware that rainwater and melting snows flow from our paved roads into the drains along the curbs.  However, some residents may not know that storm drain systems are composed of curbside storm drain receivers and underground storm water pipes which discharge those waters directly into our local waterways (Cazenovia, Smoke, or Buffalo Creek) without receiving any treatment.  Those waterways flow into Lake Erie, from where we get our drinking water.  Therefore, these systems should only receive rain water and snow melt, and no other materials should be disposed into storm water receivers.

In 2011, the WSEC members decided to initiate a Storm Drain Marking project to educate the public on this important topic.  Initially, this effort entailed using spray paint and a stencil to mark the Town owned streets (adjacent to each curbside storm receiver) with the words “Do Not Dump - Drains to River”.  However, that effort proved to be very cumbersome and time consuming due to the need to repeatedly clean paint from the stencil.  Also, the spray paint on the roadways was not very durable due to erosion and vehicle traffic.     

In 2013, the program was modified to address those issues.  Instead of using a stencil, permanent 4 inch metal markers (medallions – see photo) were glued onto curbs adjacent to the storm water receivers so that road traffic and maintenance equipment (i.e. snowplows) would not damage the medallions.  Unfortunately, this meant that some Town streets (those with at-grade concrete gutters and those with surface storm water runoff to ditches) would not be marked.  The project will be completed this year.  At this point in time, each of the (254) Town-owned streets, with raised curbs, have been marked with a total of 1,381 medallions.   

Now that the Storm Drain Marking project is concluding, our efforts will switch to maintenance.  We intend to replace any of the medallions that may be missing.  As a resident, you can assist us in this effort.  If you notice that a medallion is missing from the curb at a storm drain receiver, please inform the West Seneca Town Highway Dept.by e-mailing superintendent Brian Adams at badams@twsny.org,  or calling 674-4850. Please provide the location (Street, house no.) of the missing medallion. The Highway Dept. can then request that WSEC members replace the missing medallion.

Finally, another way West Seneca residents can help to protect our environment is to remove and properly dispose of any debris that accumulates at storm drains. This will allow the storm drain system to function properly and will help prevent flooding on our streets.

Remember: Do not put any materials/wastes into storm drains. 

If you need information concerning proper disposal of any types of wastes, refer to the Highway Dept. portion of the West Seneca website www.westseneca.net or call the office at 674-4850.

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MINIMIZE DEER FORAGING

The West Seneca Environmental Commission has received numerous complaints from residents concerning damage to landscaping (shrubs, flowers) caused by deer as they forage for food.   Just as humans do, deer have preferences in the types of food they like to eat. To address this problem without harming the deer, the West Seneca Environmental Commission suggests that people select and plant ornamental vegetation which is not pleasant to a deer's sense of taste. A comprehensive list of landscaping vegetation can be found at the Rutger's University website (see link below):

Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance (Rutgers NJAES)

BEWARE GIANT HOGWEED

Help the Town of West Seneca get rid of this invasive species by knowing how to identify and report the plant. Do not touch the plant as it will burn you!
 
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INFORMATION ON BUFFALO CREEK

Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC)
 
Army Corps of Engineers