As the 10-year effort to remove toxic sediment from the Buffalo River nears completion this summer, the focus now shifts to shoreline access and habitat restoration along this once-dead river.
After nearly five years of planning and design work, construction is beginning at RiverBend and seven other locations along the Buffalo River that are essential for removing the river from the federal list of Great Lakes Areas of Concern by 2016.
Restoration work there will transform the shoreline into a healthy and viable ecosystem and enhance recent economic development activity at this former brownfield site.
When fully implemented, the projects will restore nearly two miles of shoreline and 20 acres of habitat at eight sites on the lower Buffalo River: RiverBend (east and west shorelines), River Fest Park, Blue Tower Turning Basin, Old Bailey Woods, Ohio Street Boat Launch, Toe of Katherine Street Peninsula and Buffalo Color Peninsula.
Approximately $4.7 million from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) is being provided for the restoration work through a regional partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Great Lakes Commission (GLC). NOAA and the GLC have partnered with Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper to design and implement the restoration projects by 2016.