The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District (Corps), joined the New York Wild Web Site Initiative because it complements its ongoing and growing environmental stewardship mission at Mount Morris Dam. This dam, located deep in the Genesee River Gorge next to Letchworth State Park, is atypical because it is normally "dry" and impounds the 17-mile long gorge only to protect the downstream reaches from relatively infrequent, but devastating, floods. This environmentally friendly feature sustains the natural character of the Genesee River Gorge so that it will be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.

The Corps is in the initial stages of developing an environmental education component to the Mount Morris Dam Recreation Area and William B. Hoyt II Visitor Center. This program is intended to increase the awareness of environmental values by underscoring the importance, protection and conservation of natural resources through environmental stewardship practices. Recent environmental stewardship initiatives at the dam included support to the New York River Otter Project for the monitoring of movement habits of river otters released in the gorge and watershed. The Corps is proud to have been a partner in this successful wildlife reintroduction effort. In addition, we have participated in placing observation cameras at the project that allows the public to observe resident wildlife behavior. We look forward to providing observation sites for the New York Wild web site at Mount Morris Dam and other areas in New York State.

The Corps believes that partnerships, such as the New York Wild Web Site Initiative, are efficient and effective tools for accomplishing common environmental goals. Partnerships provide a forum that promote multidisciplinary, interagency and cross-sector cooperation, and foster diversity. They bridge the gap that allows public and private entities to present wide-ranging objectives and solve environmental problems in the interest of all stakeholders.


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