Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — So, the beaches in Niagara County aren’t too clean, it seems. A national advocacy group that pushes for green solutions to help the environment reported last week that Niagara’s beaches were the worst in all of New York state, exceeding even those in the New York City area.
I’m no expert on pollution, but I do know that when my wife and I visited Olcott a couple of weeks ago, there was a very distinct odor along the beach. One that whiffed of bad seafood. We also noticed a shoreline with what looked like plenty of algae. Since I’m still getting myself familiar with Eastern Niagara County, I – as well as my wife — was a little surprised at this.
When I related this story to some locals recently, they weren’t surprised at all. Stay tuned, I was advised.
Armed with this new knowledge, it wasn’t much of a shock when the Niagara County Health Department closed the beach for two days last week because of “unsatisfactory bacteriological” levels. It seemed to make additional sense following a report issued by the Natural Resources Defense Council, which you’ll find in Monday’s US&J.
The timing of the report couldn’t have come at a worse time; it was released while the good people of Olcott and Newfane are still basking in the glow of their community’s designation from the World Fishing Network as America’s 2012 Ultimate Fishing Town.
Still, I take reports from groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council with a grain of salt because they come from an advocacy group. I always question the accuracy of studies such as this, since the group is trying to push its agenda. It could be completely accurate for all I know, but I’m still going to cast a suspicious eye at it.
Besides, there’s a reason that Olcott Beach attracts fishermen from near and afar: It’s a mighty fine place to cast your rod and reel. Those who know that keep coming back, year after year. I’m sure the locals and the out-of-towners who frequent Olcott Beach and Newfane have a much different opinion on the quality of the local water.
Speaking of fishing, the 22nd Annual Erie Canal FIshing Derby is set to start this week. If you haven’t read our front page story on Steve Harrington, who founded the event, please do so.
Harrington saw a diamond in the rough more than two decades ago and it has grown into one of the summer’s best events.
I don’t fish, but my brother-in-law does and while I’m not sure if he has registered, I do know that he looks for the daily updates in the paper. He knows of some fantastic fishing locations, including a few along the canal.
Anglers all across the region should tip their caps to Harrington, who could have packed it in after a fire destroyed his home last year. Instead, he persevered. Make sure you read that article. It’s worth the time.
Where has the time gone? I can’t believe we are already into the second half of 2012. It seems like just a couple of weeks ago I was commenting about how we’d probably get blasted by a late-winter storm because we’d dodged that bullet all season. That was in March.
Soon we’ll be talking about the Bills training camp down the road in Rochester. And, although the summer has just started for school children it won’t be long before we’re reading the fliers announcing back to school sales.
After that, it’s Labor Day and Halloween, which ushers in the rush through Thanksgiving and Christmas. Next thing you know we’ll be shouting “Happy New Year,” and the cycle will start again.
John Hopkins is the managing editor of the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal. His column appears on Sundays. Contact Mr. Hopkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.