Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Grants to Riverkeeper

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  • Buffalo River RAP Coordination 2010-2012.  $600,000 for 3 years.

  • Short Description: Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper (Riverkeeper) is requesting funding to continue coordination of and monitoring associated with the Buffalo River Remedial Action Plan. Riverkeeper has made significant progress towards the delisting of the Buffalo River Area of Concern since becoming the first non-profit coordinator in 2005; however, additional commitments and resources are needed to continue the momentum towards delisting. Riverkeeper will continue to partner on and coordinate relevant projects, such as Great Lakes Legacy Act and Riverwatch in support of the Buffalo River Remedial Action Plan.
  • Objectives:

o       Continue the local coordination of the current Great Lakes Legacy Act Project for the Buffalo River Area of Concern;

o       Assist with the development of a Habitat Restoration Master Plan for the Buffalo River Area of Concern in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-Great Lakes National Program Office (U.S. EPA-GLNPO);

o       Secure additional funding, signed project agreements and partnerships to implement sediment remediation and habitat restoration within the Buffalo River Area of Concern;

o       Identify potential monitoring protocols for delisting BUIs in partnership with New York State and other Areas of Concern;

o       Coordinate a baseline inventory of mammalian, herpetofaunal, and avian populations in the Buffalo River Area of Concern to address BUIs #3 and #14;

o       Identify opportunities, potential partnerships, and funding to assess, evaluate, and design Green Infrastructure projects that will assist in Combined Sewer Overflow abatement and habitat improvement;

o       Implement shoreline buffer projects in partnership with individual land owners in and around the Buffalo River Area of Concern to address non-point source pollution and BUI #3 and #14;

o       Continue education and outreach to build partnerships and engage stakeholders about issues affecting the Buffalo River Area of Concern.

For complete RAP Work Plan, click here.

  • Buffalo River AOC Habitat Restoration – “Riverbend.”  $657,245.

  • Short Description: Design, implement, and monitor a high priority habitat restoration project in the Buffalo River Area of Concern, as identified in the Buffalo River Remedial Action Plan, the Great Lakes Legacy Act Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study, and the “Buffalo River Habitat Assessment and Conservation Framework.”  The Riverbend site would provide 2,800 linear feet and 6.29 acres of shoreline/riparian restoration, and would bring the Remedial Action Plan to a level of “40 % complete” for a delisting target for Beneficial Use Impairment #14 – “Loss of Fish and Wildlife Habitat.”


For complete Work Plan, click here.

  • Buffalo River – Wetlands Restoration at Seneca Bluffs.  $200,000.

  • Brief Description: Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper and its partner Erie County Department of Environment and Planning are seeking funding for wetland and riparian restoration at Seneca Bluffs Natural Habitat Area, located 500 ft upstream from the Buffalo River Area of Concern.  The 15 acre Seneca Bluffs restoration will include management of wetland-associated upland, a wetland, and island habitat for planting of native trees, shrubs and forbes of high wildlife value, restoration of aquatic plant species where practicable, and long-term habitat quality monitoring. Each area requires invasive species control.

SenecaBluffsFor the complete Work Plan, click here.

  • Niagara River Regional Habitat Restoration Strategy and Blueprint.  $243,936.
    • Short Description: Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper is requesting funding to help develop a watershed-based Habitat Restoration Strategy and Blueprint for the Niagara Region. This strategy will identify, evaluate, characterize, and map potential habitat restoration sites and conduct a biodiversity inventory within the U.S. Niagara River Watershed. This project will complement a parallel effort in the Buffalo River watershed and will provided much needed baseline data to support both the Niagara River Remedial Action Plan and a pending Niagara River Watershed Management Plan.
  • Objectives:

o       Objective 1: Identify and evaluate potential habitat restoration sites, conceptualize the types of restoration projects and design, and identify restoration methods.

o       Objective 2: Provide the information and data needed to track and coordinate restoration projects, and the leverage needed to secure the local, stat, federal and private funds needed for restoration implementation.

o       Objective 3: Support the “Habitat Restoration Coordinator” that will coordinate the numerous stakeholders, technical experts, community involvement, communication, and diverse funding sources that are critical to habitat restoration implementation projects.

o       Objective 4: Provide addition support for the delisting of habitat related BUIs in the Niagara and Buffalo River AOCs.

  • Enhancing Fish Consumption Advisories in the Buffalo Niagara Region.  $225,000.
    • Brief Description: Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation seek to improve fish consumption advisories and outreach in the Buffalo River Area of Concern and Niagara River watershed. Current advisories will be revised to improve information uptake in high-risk communities. Local community and refugee outreach groups will collaborate in translating and distributing non-traditional outreach materials. This project will fill a significant gap in understanding fish consumption patterns of subsistence anglers to inform future education and policy efforts.
  • Objectives:

o       Conduct formative, cultural  research characterizing the subsistence angler population in the Buffalo Niagara region to serve as a basis for determining the potential for health risks to various groups and the need for targeted outreach strategies to reduce any such risk.

o       Develop a simplified and accessible form of New York State fish consumption advisory, specifically in the Buffalo and Niagara River Areas of Concern.

o       Collaborate with local community and refugee organizations for the targeted translation and adaptation of outreach materials to high-risk and marginalized communities in the Buffalo Niagara Region.

o       Develop and promote multilingual public health programs focused on fish preparation methods, species identification, and meal spacing in collaboration with local family health clinics and community organizations

o       Collaborate with the Office of Environmental Justice at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in the logistical development of comprehensive GIS analyses of data collected by Riverkeeper on high-risk populations in Buffalo and the fishing sites used by members of these communities.

o       Analyze and report data to fill significant gaps in the understanding of the public perception of risk regarding fish consumption and the consumption patterns of subsistence anglers and their families.

o       Develop written guidance compiling culturally specific information regarding certain demographics’ perceptions of risk, patterns in public understanding, and trends in knowledge acquisition.