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Western New Yorkers know too well the painful costs of pollution and other forms of environmental degradation and neglect. Over 30 years ago the Buffalo River was declared biologically dead and ecologically destroyed, and only through a persistent restoration effort was it remediated and shows vastly improved water quality. Brian believes that we must learn from this history to prevent the recurrence of environmental disasters like Love Canal and Tonawanda Coke in our district. His work in Washington, D.C. focuses on the conservation and care for the many precious natural resources here in Western New York. From the Great Lakes, to our waterways, to our parks and natural public spaces, Brian is fighting to ensure the federal policies enacted in Congress help to support a healthy environment and protect those most vulnerable to pollution and exposure to hazardous substances. To achieve these goals of preservation, Brian has been a strong supporter of federal funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and the Water Resources Development Act.

More on Environment

Jan 6, 2021 Press Release

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26), a member of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force, announced the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act (GLRI) has been signed into law, delivering a major increase in funding for the Great Lakes.

Dec 18, 2020 Press Release

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced $115,347 in federal funding provided through the 2020 National Coastal Resilience Fund to Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper for the design of a Buffalo Creek floodplain project aimed at reducing flooding in the Lexington Green neighborhood in the Town of West Seneca.

Dec 8, 2020 Press Release

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced the House of Representatives approved the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). The legislation, which provides authority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out water projects, includes a provision led by Higgins which provides $25 million for a demonstration project aimed at eliminating harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes and other waterways. 

Nov 17, 2020 Press Release

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced passage of S.910, the National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act of 2020. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) supports university-based programs that focus on studying, conserving, and effectively using U.S. coastal resources, including those in the Great Lakes region, through the National Sea Grant Program. The bill reauthorizes the Sea Grant College program through 2025.

Oct 23, 2020 Press Release

This week, as the United States marks the 48th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) and colleagues on the Great Lakes Task Force warned the progress made to restore and protect the Great Lakes is at risk of unravelling. 

Oct 5, 2020 Press Release

Buffalo, NY – Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper has received a federal grant from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for nearly $300,000 to lead an effort across the Great Lakes Basin for coordinated cleanups through 2022. The effort will help keep drinking water resources safe and protect habitats throughout the Great Lakes Basin.  

Sep 25, 2020 Press Release

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced passage of H.R. 4447, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act. The package of bipartisan bills would push the United States towards a clean energy future, create jobs, and ensure all communities are treated equitably in the process.

Sep 23, 2020 Press Release

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) spoke on the House floor to strongly oppose the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s recent rule rollback allowing the release of toxic metals into our nation’s Great Lakes and waterways, and urged colleagues to re-double their efforts to prioritize the long-term sustainability of the environment.


Aug 29, 2020 Press Release

As the plan to remove the Buffalo Skyway advances, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) says the newly released Boulevard option provides exciting new connectivity for Western New Yorkers. 

Higgins said, “Transitioning to a Boulevard with generous, attractive pedestrian and bicycle access provides a new gateway to the waterfront, removes the elevated highway that has separated our neighborhoods from the water for much too long, and expands opportunities for the public to connect with our natural environment.”

Both options under consideration would:

Jul 31, 2020 Press Release

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced the House of Representatives approved an appropriation package funding various government programs and operations for fiscal year 2021. 

“These are challenging times for our nation,” Higgins said.  “This legislation invests in our communities and builds a path to a healthier and stronger America.”

Below are highlights of the package with a focus on several aspects important to Western New York: 

Transportation-Housing & Urban Development