Corps of Engineers begins Buffalo Harbor dredging

Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District
Published Sept. 28, 2020

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District began operations and maintenance (O&M) dredging of the Buffalo Harbor, a commercial deep draft harbor, September 8.

The work, being completed by Ryba Marine Construction from Cheboygan, Michigan, includes standard operation and maintenance dredging of 114,000 cubic yards, as well as 120,000 cubic yards of strategic navigation dredging funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. It will take approximately 1.5 months to complete the work.

All dredging will be performed within the federal navigation channel.  Standard O&M dredging will be performed between the river mouth and station 132+00 (about one mile upstream of the Ohio Street bridge).  An additional area will be dredged upstream of the South Park bridge, which will have the added benefit of alleviating ice jams in the area. Strategic navigation dredging will target residual contamination in five specific areas throughout the river.

"Buffalo has seen incredible progress in the development of our waterfront, but the improvements are futile if we don't maintain and protect the water," said Congressman Brian Higgins.  "Regular dredging overseen by the Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo district ensures a navigable channel for an increasingly bustling Buffalo Harbor and River."

“We’re excited to get to work dredging Buffalo Harbor and help ensure that the harbor remains accessible to commerce which is so important to the region,” said Lt. Col. Eli Adams, Buffalo District commander. “I’m also thrilled that we’re also able to contribute to efforts to remove a beneficial use impairment in the Buffalo River Area of Concern.”

The Buffalo Harbor is a major receiving and shipping port and critical Harbor of Refuge on the Great Lakes. Commodities shipped through the harbor include wheat, salt, sand, gravel, cement, and concrete. The harbor supports approximately $549.8M in business revenue and generates $150.5 million in labor income from 3,223 direct, indirect, and induced jobs.

Waterborne transportation facilitated by the harbor supports $34.6 million in business revenue while providing approximately 150 direct, indirect, and induced jobs, which generate $10.1 million in labor income to the transportation sector.

The harbor requires approximately 100,000 cubic yards (CY) of dredging every two years to maintain the navigation channel. Dredging was last completed in 2018, which removed 125,000 CY of material.

The dredged material was beneficially used for ecosystem restoration at nearby Unity Island.

For more information about the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative please visit: and

Susan Blair
716.799.2618 (cell)
1776 Niagara Street

Release no. 20-028