Riverkeeper’s Statement on Revitalization of Buffalo’s Outer Harbor

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As a Great Lakes city, Buffalo is privileged to have the confluence of Lake Erie, the Buffalo River and the Niagara River at its front door.  Understanding that Buffalo’s future, like its past, is defined by our access to fresh water, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper supports Outer Harbor revitalization that is undertaken with “best management practices”.  Best management practices include protecting and restoring the ecological health of ourecosystem, ensuring permanent public access to and from the water’s edge, and prioritizing water-dependent and water-enhanced uses (including marine based businesses).  In addition, Riverkeeper advocates that any public financial support for development of this land be supportive of public-benefit projects such as improving infrastructure, parks and public open spaces, and access to the water.

Riverkeeper supports an open and transparent process that contributes to the determination of future uses and prioritization of investment.  The Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) planning efforts that are currently underway are the best mechanism to ensure both civic engagement and vetting of diverse perspectives. This planning process involves the relevant public, agency, and community stakeholders and has a strong public involvement component.  Riverkeeper believes that this planning process is the best way to focus community attention and coordinate funding and development opportunities so that the Outer Harbor can finally become an economically vibrant and ecologically healthy part of our community for all to enjoy.

For more information on the Outer Harbor BOA process and how you can get involved, please go to the project website at http://buffalobrownfieldopportunities.com/.  Riverkeeper is fully committed to a sustainable future for our fresh water.  We will continue to keep our members informed as to the progress on the waterfront, and encourage other members of the community to join in the conversation.   To sign up to receive our e-newsletters and bulletins, please email Nicole Lipp at  nlipp@bnriverkeeper.org.