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Riverkeeper gets grant for RiverBend

Buffalo Business First [ View Original Article ]

Through a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grant, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper has been awarded $167,000 in federal funding to support Phase II of the Buffalo RiverBend project.

Riverbend is adjacent to RiverBend Commerce Park, a "green" business hub. The South Buffalo site was formerly the home of Republic Steel and Donner Hanna Coke facilities.

The area's heavy industrial past contributed to contamination of the land and water. The RiverBend project is a component of the South Buffalo Brownfield Opportunity Act, which is transforming almost 2,000 acres along the shores of Lake Erie and the Buffalo River.

Last fall, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper received $657,245 through a federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant. Riverkeeper will use the additional funding for the creation of design and engineering specifications for shoreline restoration of 1,520 linear feet of Buffalo River Area of Concern (AOC) shoreline. An additional 3.5 acres of habitat will also be targeted for restoration design.

"These federal funds will continue our efforts to preserve and enhance the water's edge," said Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, a member of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force. "Beyond the clear environmental benefits, this work will continue the transformation of Buffalo's old and industrial image to one that is new, exciting and welcoming to the public and innovative economic development."

Jill Jedlicka, director of ecological programs for Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, said, "Riverkeeper is thrilled to be able to continue our work in the transformation of a former industrial brownfield that will provide improved riverfront access for the South Buffalo community. We have been very pleased to bring federal investment and restoration jobs into Buffalo in recent years and we are fully committed to the continued ecological and economic revitalization of the Buffalo River."

For more information on this project and others led by Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper visit: http://bnriverkeeper.org.


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