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Posted 7/18/2017

Release no. 17-014


Contact
Dr. Michael Izard-Carroll
716-879-4150
716-368-2060 (cell)
michael.d.izard-carroll@usace.army.mil
1776 Niagara Street Buffalo, NY 14207

Buffalo, NY – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District will host an open house at the Black Rock Lock on August 5, 2017 from noon to 3:00 p.m. to commemorate 200 years since groundbreaking for the Erie Canal on July 4, 2017. 

"The Army Corps of Engineers is proud to be a part of the Erie Canal legacy” said Lt. Col. Adam Czekanski, Buffalo District Commander. “From the first Black Rock Lock in 1833 to the present lock the Corps constructed between 1908 and 1914, we have shared a great responsibility with the region to allow for the safe passage of vessels.”

The open house at the Corps of Engineers office located at 1776 Niagara Street in Buffalo, (see attached map), will include self-guided tours of the lock, historic photos and displays, period re-enactors, and information exhibits on recreation, water safety and the Niagara River ecosystem.

The open house is scheduled to coincide with other community events held in conjunction with the inaugural “14207 Day” festivities scheduled for August 5.   

Among the confirmed dignitaries for this event are Assemblyman Robin Schimminger and Councilmember Joe Golombek. 

“Some 200 years ago, on the Fourth of July, ground was broken for the Erie Canal in Rome, New York, Said Assemblyman Robin Schimminger. “While that ceremony was far removed from Buffalo, it was momentous for our community. New York State’s building of the Erie Canal became a reality here when the Canal was dug through Black Rock in 1825.  While the original lock in Black Rock has been replaced with one constructed by the Army Corps in 1914, the Black Rock Lock is a permanent part of Erie Canal history, and that legacy remains strong today.”

"Buffalo is undergoing a major resurgence, and the 14207 zip code is no exception”, said Councilmember Golombek. “14207 Day was conceived to highlight the positive things happening in the North District. Some are new, some have always been there, but this festival celebrates LOCAL and brings individual events together in to one. Come out and experience the diversity and vibrancy of the neighborhood, and we can set a precedent for future years!"

On-site parking will be provided in the Corps of Engineers’ parking lot at 1776 Niagara Street in Buffalo. Visitors may access the Corps of Engineers property by way of the pedestrian bridge over Interstate 190.

Confirmed guest exhibitors will include the Black Rock Lock Historical Society, the Black Rock-Riverside Alliance, the Buffalo Harbor Museum (Lower Lakes Marine Historical Society) and the Scajaquada Canoe Club. There will also be exhibitors from the Corps of Engineers presenting various projects within the Buffalo and Niagara River watersheds, such as Broderick Park, Unity Island, and the Buffalo District Facility Renovation. Other information will include the Buffalo River and Niagara River Areas of Concern, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, as well as the Corps of Engineers Dive Team and Survey Team.

The Black Rock Lock and Canal provide safe passage for vessels to travel between Buffalo Harbor and Tonawanda Harbor around the reefs, rapids and fast currents that exist in the upstream portion of the Niagara River. In combination with the New York State Canal System, the Black Rock Lock and Canal provide an inland water route between Lake Erie and the Atlantic Ocean. For more information about the Black Rock Lock, visit http://www.lrb.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/Black-Rock-Lock/.