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Cayuga Creek with Niagara Falls YELP

Yesterday Niagara Falls YELP Students explored Cayuga Creek from its mouth to its headwaters identifying its determinants and potential for restoration.

The first stop was where Cayuga Creek ends at the Little Niagara River. From Jayne Park on Cayuga Island, students envisioned what the floodplain looked like before human manipulation, and discussed ways to improve shorelines for wildlife and better water quality.

We then trekked upstream to the Headwaters of Cayuga Creek at Niagara-Wheatfield High School where a group of students and faculty are working to protect the source by planting trees and creating a riparian buffer.

We then moved downstream to one of the most modified sections of the creek, where it bisects the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. We talked about how the importance of the Niagara region in the history of aerospace innovation, and how that innovation affected the creek below. One bonus was observing the Snowy Owl that calls the base home for a couple of months each year.

The Final site we visited was BN Waterkeeper’s Restoration site just downstream from the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, where we are working to restore a forested wetland to prevent the downstream community from experiencing flooding events. The students had a great day learning about and experiencing the creek that many in the class live beside, and a creek that affects the health of all of Niagara Falls’ drinking water.The Niagara County Youth Environmental Education and Leadership Program is a partnership between the National Wildlife Federation and Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper, created and funded by New York State Attorney General Letitia James.