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Chautauqua agency is one of six statewide winners for 'environmental excellence'

Chautauqua Lake has a long way to go before it's free of toxic algae, but steps toward that are underway.

Those steps taken by the Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Economic Development's Stewardship of Aquatic Resources earned it an Environmental Excellence award from the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the DEC has announced.

DEC officials said the county's re-investment of $2.6 million into water quality improvement programs around the county and Chautauqua Lake from funds it collected from hotel occupancy tax revenues over the last eight years earned the agency the award.

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The Chautauqua County agency was Western New York's sole winner in the DEC's 14th annual awards, and one of six statewide.

Others came from the Albany area, the Hudson Valley as well as Livingston, Ulster and Oneida counties.

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