Construction on Unity Island Aquatic and Riparian Invasive Species Management and Habitat Restoration Project nears completion

Published Nov. 29, 2016

Buffalo, NY – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District will complete the installation of culverts and pump at Unity Island, Buffalo, New York, by mid-December in support of the Unity Island Aquatic and Riparian Invasive Species Management and Habitat Restoration Project.

The work is being completed is part of a $1.39 million contract awarded, September 30, 2015 to Tidewater Inc. of Elkridge, Maryland.

For this phase of the project a pump station for water circulation will be installed between the North Pond to the South Pond and then downstream from the South Pond, through the watercourse, and into Middle Pond.  Culverts will be replaced and redesigned between North and Middle ponds and within the watercourse for improved hydraulics and fish passage ultimately creating conditions for low-flow fish passage.

As part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), the larger Unity Island project is a demonstration project conducted in coordination with the city of Buffalo and the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center.

The goal of this demonstration is to evaluate the efficacy of a number of invasive species removal methodologies.  In particular we aim to test a hydraulic control method that could assist in combating invasive species and promoting native species succession.  The hydraulic control method would allow for a unique passive approach to aquatic plant control.  Combined with both mechanical and chemical/herbicide, the hydraulic control method may lead to significantly more efficient application protocols.  Lastly, the project aims to promote the natural succession processes by selectively creating space for native species in submerged and emergent habitats.

The project includes, implementing aquatic invasive species  control and management, introducing container-grown woody, shrub, and herbaceous native plant species, planting in-water submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), installing in-water fish attraction structures, planting in-channel SAV and installing fish attraction structures, and expand riparian and wetland buffers. 

Project photos:

Andrew Kornacki
(716)-352-8669 (cell)

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