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Waterkeeper Expands Jurisdiction

Expanded Jurisdiction

Building on three decades of improving our waterways

Buffalo Common Council Member Mitch Nowakowski joined Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper to “open” Western New York water season and announce our expanded jurisdiction to Pennsylvania border as we celebrate our 35th anniversary

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

The new jurisdictional area in which the organization will expand its impact to include the entirety of the eastern Lake Erie shoreline and numerous communities within the expanded watershed all the way to the Pennsylvania border. In describing the decision to officially expand the geography in which they work, Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper Executive Director Jill Jedlicka said, “This action allows us to  better integrate and engage  the many diverse voices across Western New York, so 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 engage with more WNY residents through advocacy, volunteer events, idea sharing and project implementation for the benefit of our freshwater and ecosystems.”

“Today marks a significant milestone for Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper and our community as their expanded jurisdiction signifies a bold step towards more comprehensive water stewardship across Western New York,” said Fillmore District Council Member Mitch Nowakowski. “As we celebrate their 35th anniversary, I am proud to stand alongside and support an organization that exemplifies environmental leadership and dedication and I am excited to see the continued progress in preserving our water resources for future generations.”

While Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper has been known for its leadership role in restoring the Buffalo River and improving ecosystems in Western New York for the past 35 years, Jedlicka described the top ten ongoing challenges and the work the organization and the community must prioritize in the years to come:

  • Protecting our Great Lakes through building community capacity and implementing coastal resiliency projects
  • Ongoing water quality monitoring for PFAS, emerging contaminants and other threats
  • Advocating for local, state and federal resources for investments in water infrastructure  such as sewers, shorelines, and living ecosystems
  • Collecting data and advocating for solutions to eliminate plastic pollution
  • Educating the next generation to become local stewards of our Great Lakes and local waterways
  • Restoring fish and wildlife habitat, open spaces and  making greenway connections between our community and natural environment,
  • Mitigating the harmful impacts of stormwater and nutrient runoff on our waterways
  • Cleaning up legacy pollution and preventing contamination of our shorelines and waterways
  • Implementing  water protection and restoration strategies with municipalities throughout our new jurisdiction 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 volunteering, trainings, and education programs. To learn more about how to get involved, check out our website at or are social media channels on all major platforms: @bnwaterkeeper. More information about the expansion of watershed jurisdiction and action plan can be found at