As spring approaches, we are excited to report on progress of several initiatives and announce our activities for this year. Registration is open for our 6th Annual Genesee River Basin Summit, and planning is underway for tree planting at our lastest streambank restoration project and summer-fall events on the river.
Be sure to stay tuned for further details and contact us if interested in supporting our work through membership or volunteer efforts.


Mike Haugh, President, Board of Directors
George Thomas, Executive Director
Photo by Mike Haugh
6th Annual Genesee River Basin Summit
Genesee RiverWatch will host its 6th Annual Genesee River Basin Summit on May 7, 2019 on the Rochester Institute of Technology Campus. Please consider joining us! 

Purpose: Provide a comprehensive update on the multitude of activities associated with initiatives that result in solutions to improve water quality in the Genesee and connect people to the river. This event will include presentations from regional experts and subsequent discussion with participants. The Summit will be broken down into four parts.
  1. Reporting & Planning – Experts will review their work to develop and implement plans to improve the quality of the water in the river and create opportunities to enjoy its beauty.
  2. Access & Recreation – This series of presentations will provide an overview of projects in the basin to improve recreational access to and opportunities on the river.
  3. Restoration – Presentations by various basin stakeholders will review their efforts to restore the river and it’s surroundings.
  4. Outreach and Education – This series of presentations will look at initiatives undertaken to inform citizens and stakeholders about the issues facing the Basin.

 A complete agenda will be published soon. There is no fee to attend.
Streambank Restoration
edelweis 2018
Edelweiss Farms Streambank Restoration

The work to stabilize 1,980 feet of streambank near the Village of Fillmore, NY started in February. The work is supported by a grant from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The total project value is $283,688, including $33,400 of in-kind work to be performed by the landowner.
The picture to the right shows the extent of the erosion along the riverbank. The work to stabilize the bank is over 60% complete. We look forward to a tree planting event in May to establish a riparian buffer. This farmer has lost over 160 feet of his riverbank at the middle of the 1,800 foot bank since the project was funded in 2017.
Get on the River with Genesee RiverWatch
Genesee RiverWatch will be hosting and participating in a number of river-related events this year designed to enjoy the River, and learn about it's flora, fauna and history. Here is a preview. Stay tuned for more details!
-Tree Planting at Edelweiss Farm - May ? 2019.
Volunteers will be needed to plant trees on our latest streambank restoration project in Fillmore, NY. The date will be set soon.

-Lower River Cruise on the Harbor Towne Belle with experts on the Flora-Fauna and the History of the River: Watch for more details!
  • Thursday, June 20th, 2019, 5:30-8:30 and
  • Sunday, August 18th, 2019, 3:00-6:00

-Paddling with Genesee RiverWatch:
  • Upper River paddle from Belmont to Belfast - not yet scheduled

  • Upper River paddle from Belfast to Portageville - not yet scheduled.

-Paddling Events with the City of Rochester, Genesee Land Trust and Genesee Waterways Center:
  • June 15th – Corn Hill Landing - Learn to paddle.
  • July 13th – Waterway Center to Canal
  • Aug 17th – Lower River from Seth Green.
  • Sept 21st – Waterway Center to Canal
  • Oct 5th – Lower River from Seth Green

In other news...
Citizen Monitoring of the River

Thanks to a dedicated group of citizen monitors, over 250 water quality samples have been collected at seven locations within the Genesee River Basin over the last two years. We are currently analyzing the data and will make the results available in 2019. Our team recently identified the need for a new volunteer(s) to adopt one or two of the sites that need more sampling. Contact George Thomas if interested.

Educational Outreach

Genesee RiverWatch developed several educational programs in 2018 with the objective to enhance public knowledge of the Genesee River and increase commitment to its future health and use through formal and informal environmental education. This work included the development of the Aquatic Education Network, student classroom sessions, and teacher professional development. Through the generosity of individual donors we are continuing these programs in 2019 as described below:
  • Aquatic Education – One Aquatic Education Network (AEN) meeting has been planned for March 29, 2019 at the Genesee Waterways Center.

  • Teacher Professional Development – Several events are in the final planning stages.

  •  Classroom Sessions – Two events are in the planning stages for either June or September.
Genesee RiverWatch Membership
Did you know it's easy to join Genesee RiverWatch as a member? There are a variety of options, from "Basic" membership at $25 to a "Genesee River Basin" supporter level at $2000. At every level, your support helps to make the work of Genesee RiverWatch possible! At the $50 "Contributing" level or more, first time members receive a Genesee RiverWatch hat.

Just click on the button below to be taken to the sign-up page.
Thank you to our Supporters!
Genesee River Basin - $2,000 or more level
  • CEI Shirley Sherman Fund
  • City of Rochester
  • Danielle Ponder
  • Genesee Brewery
  • RG&E

Main Stem - $1,000 or more level
  • American Dairy Association
  • Black Murphy Fund
  • Broccolo Tree & Lawn Care
  • Elizabeth Thorndike
  • Hose 22 Firehouse Grill
  • Jetty at the Port
  • Nixon Peabody
  • Presentation Source
  • Stantec
  • U of R Environmental Health Sciences Center
  • William Hallahan
Letchworth - $500 or more level
  • Brad VanAuken
  • Charlie Valeska
  • Georgiana Prince
  • Golisano Institute for Sustainability
  • Jennifer Capezzuto, CPA
  • Jerry Bertoldo
  • Joseph & Joyce Makarewicz
  • Knauf & Shaw
  • LaBella Associates
  • Mike & Bonnie Haugh
  • Pathfinder Engineers & Architects
  • Peter Lent
  • RIT Environmental Science Program
  • Terry Schmitz
  • Wegmans Food Markets

Tributary - $250 or more level
  • Anne & Jack Stocum
  • Century Liquor
  • Chetna & Abdhas Chandrakala
  • Lee & Marci Loomis
  • Matrix Environmental Technologies
  • Paradigm Environmental Services
  • Ruth I. Morton Fund
  • SWBR Architects
  • TelTru Manufacturing/GS Plastic Optics
  • Underberg & Kessler