Buffalo, New York—The Unity Island project team will host both a ribbon cutting and a Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) signing ceremony on Unity Island, Buffalo, NY (see map below) on Thursday, August 31 at 11am. The ribbon cutting will commemorate the completion of the ecosystem restoration work performed at the Island's North Pond. The PPA signing celebrates the onset of a second project to place dredged sediment into the pond for additional ecosystem enhancements.
“This project reflects our commitment to develop innovative solutions to reverse habitat degradation in the Buffalo-Niagara region,” said Lt. Col. Adam Czekanski, Buffalo District Commander. "Finding a beneficial use for the sediment dredged from the Buffalo River will help us move toward our goal of having the Buffalo River delisted as one of the EPA’s areas of concern. Sustainability initiatives like this protect vital ecosystems and are important to both the region and to our Nation.”
The completed ecosystem restoration work is a demonstration project, funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, conducted in coordination with the City of Buffalo and the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center. The project employed several invasive species removal methodologies at the pond, and the team will continue to evaluate the effectiveness of each for future efforts in controlling invasive plants.
The beneficial use of dredged sediment PPA is a formal agreement between the City of Buffalo and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that allows the project to move forward with design and eventually construction. As part of the project, the dredged sediment will be placed to create wetlands and allow for the planting of emergent and submerged plants throughout the North Pond. In addition, the existing stone dike will be opened to connect the Niagara River with the North Pond, thereby allowing fish to pass between them.
“I would like to thank the Army Corps of Engineers for the opportunity to work together on yet another waterfront project. The control of invasive species, establishment of native plants and habitat restoration for fish, birds and other wildlife are critical steps in improving the ecology of Buffalo’s shoreline,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown.
Speakers for the event include:
Byron Brown, City of Buffalo Mayor
Brian Higgins, U.S. Congressman, NY-26
Lt. Col. Adam Czekanski, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District Commander
Agenda for the event will be:
11am – Media Event, including speakers, PPA signing, and ribbon cutting
11:30am – Site walk (media is invited)
The details of the ecosystem restoration project include implementing aquatic invasive species management, introducing native plant species, increasing hydrologic connectivity via culvert replacement between the three waterbodies on Unity Island, installing in-water fish attraction structures, and expanding riparian and wetland buffers.