Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER will unveil a preliminary design for a habitat restoration project on the Buffalo River at the future RiverBend Commerce Park, located on South Park Ave.  A public information meet­ing regarding the proposed Phase I and II plans will be held on Thursday November 15th, 2012, from 6PM – 8PM at the Valley Community Center (93 Leddy Street, Buffalo NY)
Plans are being developed for the restoration of approximately 4,320 linear feet, including approximately 9.79 combined acres of shoreline, riparian and upland habitat areas.  Formerly the Republic Steel and Donner Hanna Coke facilities, the property is located along the Buffalo River within the RiverBend Commerce Park, and greater South Buffalo Brownfield Opportunity Area.  It is expected that the project will break ground in early 2013.
“This public meeting is an opportunity for concerned citizens to review a proposed habitat restoration plan and offer suggestions and comments about the design.  Riverkeeper has been working for over 20 years to restore the health of the River after a century of industrial abuse”, said Jill Jedlicka, Executive Director of Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper.  “In addition, the Project will provide opportunities for public access to the river, while simultaneously contributing to sustainable stormwater management.”
The Habitat Restoration Project will be the first project to be implemented in the overall redevelopment of the RiverBend Commerce Park.  It is currently the largest habitat restoration project on the Buffalo River, and will serve as a benchmark and standard for all future large scale habitat restoration along former brownfields throughout the region.  The RiverBend site provides one of the longest stretches of undeveloped shoreline in the Buffalo River “Area of Concern”, which, as defined, is an area in critical need of restoration within the Great Lakes.  This project is a significant step towards achieving the goals of the Remedial Action Plan for the River.
Buffalo Niagara RIVEKEEPER received grant funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration for the engineering and design of this restoration project.  The USDA Forest Service will be providing additional funding to supplement Phase I construction.
For more information about the project visit:  http://bnriverkeeper.org/projects/riverbend/