The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District, has awarded a $1.34 million contract to Tidewater Inc. of Elkridge, Maryland, to restore aquatic and nearshore habitat at the Seneca Bluffs Natural Habitat Park located along the Buffalo River in Buffalo.
The project will restore natural habitat along approximately 2,500 linear feet of shoreline along the Buffalo River and help meet the habitat restoration goals for the Buffalo River Area of Concern. This work also meets the goals of a wide array of project partners, including Erie County, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Buffalo-Niagara River Keeper.
The project is being executed through an interagency agreement between the EPA and the Corps of Engineers, with funding provided through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
"This has been the culmination of a great partnership between the U.S. Corps of Engineers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Erie County, the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation," said CPT Kelly Polashenski, USACE project manager. "We are so grateful for this funding and to be able to make such a wonderful impact on the area."
"Erie County has had a long-standing relationship with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with respect to our natural habitat parks. The Seneca Bluffs project is a substantial and meaningful shoreline restoration that will contribute to the beneficial use and habitat value for numerous restoration projects occurring along the Buffalo River," said Thomas R. Hersey Jr., commissioner of environment and planning. "We anticipate continued collaboration with the corps, along with other municipal partners, to protect and maintain these valuable habitat investments."
"Federal investments in cleanup, protection and improvements to the water and shoreline are contributing to the Buffalo River renaissance," Congressman Brian Higgins said. "Environmental efforts like this one and others up and down the river are adding to Buffalo's waterfront experience, lifting up neighborhoods and driving new private sector investment."
The proposed work will focus on standard and bioengineering techniques to reduce shoreline erosion, installation of structural habitat within the river, and establishment of native plant communities, including invasive species management.
The contractor will begin work this fall and have the construction substantially complete before winter. This will be followed up with plantings in the spring, and a three-year monitoring of the native plant community establishment.