Scajaquada Creek cleanup on fast track

Sep 2, 2016

Scajaquada Creek may flow downhill from Buffalo's eastern suburbs, through the city and eventually to the Niagara River. However, the head of Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper says its condition is moving uphill.

"Scajaquada Creeks flows through some of the most iconic cultural gems that are in Western New York. We have the Albright-Knox Museum, Forest Lawn, the Olmsted Parks system. So there are people that live, work and play in this area and it crosses all social demographic lines, too. We've got a creek that  flows through the East Side, into parts of North Buffalo and it connects all of us."

So says Riverkeeper Executive Director Jill Jedlicka, who notes a collective awakening of the need for better waterways is increasing interest in improving the creek.

The creek is known for pollution from land runoff and from a web of sewer overflow valves along its route. Because of pressure from Washington, D.C., Cheektowaga is under federal order to do something about its overflows and Jedlicka suggests there also will be pressure on areas farther to the east along the creek.

Jedlicka says the public wants a cleaner Scajaquada Creek and there are a series of construction projects ready to go this fall to increase progress.

"We're excited to be launching multiple projects within Forest Lawn, in Forest Lawn Cemetery where Scajaquada Creek springs back to life, literally. It's where it comes out from underground and it's where there is natural spring water which continues to filter into the creek," says Jedlicka. "So it's an ideal location, metaphorically and physically, to actually start to make some more progress in the creek."

The City of Buffalo and the city Sewer Authority will be doing dredging just off Delaware Avenue to remove contaminated sludge from the creek, with that slated to be done by the end of the year.