USACE Buffalo District Office, Buffalo, New York --
Buffalo, NY – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $1.83 million contract for a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative habitat restoration project along the Buffalo River, near Katherine Street, in the City of Buffalo, New York.
"Natural habitats along the Buffalo River have been lost in part as a result of previous development supporting industrial and commercial activities. Utilizing Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding, this project will assist in restoring lost habitat and significantly enhance the overall Buffalo River ecosystem," said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez.
To create government efficiencies the USEPA has partnered with the Corps of Engineers to contract out the work and oversee its implementation. The contract was awarded to Scott Lawn Yard Inc., based in Niagara Falls, New York on May 30, 2019. The contractor will begin work this summer with anticipated completion of earthwork by the end of September followed by planting and invasive species treatment for the next four years.
"The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative provides critical funding for so many important projects like this one. Coastal resiliency is just one of the vital elements of the GLRI and I'm pleased that the Katherine Street Habitat Restoration Project is soon to be underway. I've always supported the GLRI and will continue to ensure these crucial federal dollars are allocated to protect our greatest natural assets," said U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer.
This project includes development, design, and implementation of habitat restoration for 1,900 feet of the northeastern shoreline along the Buffalo River in an Area of Concern designated by the International Joint Commission, where natural habitat has been lost or degraded as a result of development supporting industrial and commercial activities. It is anticipated that restoring habitat at this location will contribute to the re-establishment of native plants and fish and wildlife populations. This is the last project from the approved list of habitat restoration projects and the last major project that will complete the management actions needed to delist the Area of Concern.
"Once declared biologically dead due to years of toxic industrial waste, the Buffalo River today is thriving thanks to investments made possible through the federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative,” said Congressman Brian Higgins, a member of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force. “This restoration project along the water's edge, under the leadership of the Army Corps Buffalo District, continues our waterfront revival efforts delivering healthier waterways, neighborhoods and a healthier economy."
This is a USEPA project under the authority of the Economy Act. This project is funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative with no cost share sponsor for its design and implementation. The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, the City of Buffalo and the Messer Group GmbH all support its implementation. The property is owned by Messer Group GmbH, a manufacturer and supplier of nitrogen, oxygen, and argon air gases. The river bottom is owned by the City of Buffalo.
“This habitat restoration project will contribute many environmental and economic benefits to the people of the City of Buffalo,” said LTC Jason Toth, Corps of Engineers Buffalo District Commander. “These projects show the strong collaboration going on between the USEPA and the Corps, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, and the City of Buffalo to make a difference in our communities.”