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Tickets are now available for the June 20th and August 18th cruises!

Join Genesee RiverWatch on an exclusive cruise of the Lower Genesee River Gorge with experts on the Flora-Fauna and the History of the River. Guests will board the Harbor Town Belle and be treated to a view of the River seen only by a few. We will go upriver about 5 miles from the Port of Rochester to the 104 Bridge into an area that feels like a wilderness all within just a short distance of downtown Rochester.

Tom Snyder of the Seneca Park Zoo will be with us  to talk about  the flora and fauna of the lower River Gorge as we pass marshes, wetlands, sheer cliffs and dense forest. An expert on the history of the River will explain past and present influences of industry and the city's history.

The Thursday, June 20th cruise runs from 5:30-8:30pm. The Sunday, August 18th cruise runs from 3:00pm to 6pm. A buffet dinner will be served onboard. Plan to arrive 15 minutes early to board.

Tickets are $35 for adults / $20 for children under 12 and includes buffet dinner. There will be a cash bar. Tickets are limited, so get yours soon!


Call for Volunteers

Planting Trees and Shrubs along Genesee River

Town of Hume, Allegany County


WHEN: SATURDAY, June 15, 2019, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

(NEW DATE – More trees to plant!)

WHERE: Town of Hume, Allegany Co.; Near intersection of West River Road and NY State Route 19A, approx. 1 ¼  miles north on State Route 19A from the intersection of State Routes 19 and 19A and County Rd. 4 in the Village of Fillmore. See Location maps and Parking Location photos in this downloadable guide.

WHAT: In 2018, Edelweiss Farms and the Genesee RiverWatch undertook a project to stabilize a rapidly eroding vertical riverbank along the Genesee River. Currently, 1900 linear feet of the riverbank has been graded to a more gradual slope and rock has been placed to protect the lower portion of the riverbank. To complete the project, nearly 1600 trees and shrubs will need to be planted along the upper riverbank and on a buffer area between the riverbank and the nearby agricultural field. We will need the assistance of least 60 volunteers to help with this planting event. The shrubs we will plant have been selected because they are fruit-bearing and will provide food for wildlife.

WHO TO CONTACT: Pete Lent (Genesee RiverWatch). If you would like to help, please send an e-mail to Peter Lent. We will need to know: (1) your e-mail and phone number; (2) whether you will be able to help, most of day, or only in morning, or only in afternoon; (3) how many folks might be coming with you; and (4) if you have any questions. We will develop an e-mail/phone list for the project. The list will allow us to send out updates on the project to volunteers both before and after the planting event.

(NOTE: those who volunteered for original May 25 or June 1st date should contact Pete on their availability for June 15 – Thank you.)

ADDITIONAL DETAILS: Volunteers will need no prior experience. We will provide instruction on planting techniques, and placement of protective tree tubes and the stakes to secure them. Volunteers can bring shovels, spades, pick axes or mattock (pick on one side & blade on other) to break up the ground; hammers to pound in stakes; and 5-gallon pails with handles to water plants. Please label your tools for easy identification.  Conditions may be muddy so volunteers should wear boots, bring work gloves, and water. Also bring insect repellent (for black flies) and sunscreen. Although you can bring your own lunch, we plan on providing hotdogs for a lunch. We look forward to your assistance with this worthy project. With your help we will be able to accomplish this task, while enjoying the nearby views of the Genesee River.




Listen to WXXI's Connections: What did we learn from the Genesee River Report Card? | WXXI News

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Rochester, NY, April 29, 2019 - Genesee RiverWatch has released the first-ever “Report Card” grading the water quality and usability of the Genesee River and its major tributaries. The Report Card was developed to raise awareness of the environmental challenges facing the Genesee River Basin so that actions can be taken to improve the state of the watershed and preserve its beauty for generations to come.

“We have been developing this Report Card for a long time and are pleased to release it today. We hope the public will take the time to read the full report. We are happy to answer questions about its grades and their implications. We are even happier to answer questions about how individuals and organizations can help us continue to improve the river’s water quality and its recreational opportunities,” said George Thomas, Executive Director of Genesee RiverWatch.

The overall grade for the Genesee River Basin is a “C”, based on the quality of the river’s water at Rochester. This, in turn, reflects the cumulative effects on water quality of all the activities that take place along the Main Stem of the River and all its sub-watersheds stretching to northern Pennsylvania. Canaseraga Creek received the lowest grade – “D” – of all the sub-watersheds, indicating poor water quality and limits to human usage. Oatka Creek and Black Creek received grades of “B” - the highest grades of all the Genesee River subwatersheds, indicating good water quality and better opportunities for human usage. The Upper Basin of the river (south of Letchworth Park), Honeoye Creek and Conesus Creek sub-watersheds received grades of “C.” In summary, there are portions of the Genesee River Basin that are environmentally in good health. However, major portions of the watershed are degraded to varying degrees.

Download the full Press Release

Download the Report Card

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Genesee RiverWatch Sponsor Program

Genesee RiverWatch is seeking sponsors to help support our vision of a Genesee that

is an environmental, recreational and economic asset for everyone in the region.

Your sponsorship will help make possible the very important work we are doing to:

  • Improve the water quality of our Genesee River
  • Increase river access and recreational uses
  • Create educational opportunities for children and adults, using the river as a teaching tool
  • Build public and governmental interest in the Genesee as a social and economic asset

Recent initiatives such as Rochester’s “ROC the Riverway” demonstrate the birth of a new focus on the Genesee River and increase the public attention paid to the unique work of Genesee RiverWatch and to those who support this work.

With our rapidly-expanding list of projects, events and publications, we have updated our sponsorship program to cover a full 12 months from the date of your commitment. Sponsors will receive recognition at all events, in the annual report, in quarterly newsletters and other publications, in promotional materials and on our web site during this period.

Major Annual Events

Genesee River Basin Summit

Held in the spring, these all-day programs focus on developing a community consensus on technical questions of importance to the river. The recent 5th annual Summit, entitled “Stewardship Through Environmental Education”, helped further development of our Genesee River Institute educational initiative.  2017’s Summit concentrated on ‘River Access & Recreation Opportunities”.

Genesee River Bash

Held in the fall, the Bash is a celebration of the river featuring exhibits, dining, dancing, entertainment, a silent auction and our annual Elizabeth Thorndike Awards. In recent years, the program and ticket prices have been adjusted to make the Bash a family-friendly event. This year’s 44th annual celebration will be held from 5:30 to 10:00 PM, Saturday, September 29th at the Port of Rochester Terminal Building.


These half-day programs are designed to solicit stakeholder opinions and convey information on specific topics. This spring, our program entitled “Streambank Erosion in the Middle Genesee River Basin” generated a long list of valuable ideas for projects on the Genesee and its tributaries which would be lower cost than our regular grant-funded work and might be accomplished by individual land owners.

Some of Our 2018 Projects

·     Finish $147K Mallards Dairy streambank restoration with community tree planting event

·    Complete design phase of Genesee River Institute educational program. Begin pilot classes.

·     Begin $284K Edelweiss Farms streambank restoration project

·    Build Petten Street car-top boating access facility in partnership with City of Rochester

·     Complete Middle Genesee Streambank Restoration Study

·    Publish first-ever Genesee River Report Card of Basin-wide water quality


Genesee RiverWatch Sponsor Opportunities

Sponsor Levels

Genesee River Basin

$2,000 & Over

Main Stem






Sponsorship Benefits:

Bash Tickets Included





   RiverWatch Membership - Value: $25 (Individual), $100 (Business)

   Recognition in Quarterly Newsletters & Annual Report

   Recognition in Programs and at the Events

   Recognition on Web Site

   Recognition in Event Emails


The sooner we receive your 2018 sponsorship commitment, the sooner your name and logo will appear in Genesee RiverWatch publications and the more often they will be seen by the community of people and groups interested in the Genesee River.

Sign Up Procedure & Questions

  • To become a sponsor, complete either the online or the downloadable version of the Sponsor Form.
  • If you have any questions, call the Genesee RiverWatch office (585-233-6086) or email George Thomas.

Sign Up Now