USA: Congressman Calls on Corps to Maintain Access at Squaw Island Pier
Congressman Brian Higgins is saying “not so fast” to a federal agency planning to limit waterfront access in Buffalo.
“The unilateral decision to shut off this Squaw Island Pier to the public is a step backward in a community where the benefits of new and improved public access to the water are finally emerging,” said Higgins, who learned of the closure through media reports and received a number of calls from local anglers.
In his letter Higgins requests details on how the Army Corps came to this decision, requesting planning and environmental review documentation, and in the end calls on the Army Corps to reverse their decision.
Higgins, a member of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force, known for his leadership on efforts to develop Buffalo’s waterfront has also been a staunch advocate for waterside improvements which have had both ecological and navigational benefits in local waterways.
In 2009 Higgins secured $3.2 million in federal funding for improvements to the Black Rock channel, Tonawanda Harbor and Buffalo Harbor which supported dredging, breakwall repairs and Bird Island Pier improvements among other work. An additional $5.9 million in federal funding, including dollars provided through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), was secured in 2011.
Press Release, April 10, 2013