Brian has long believed in a simple formula for waterfront development: remove the barriers to public access, provide high-quality public destinations along the water’s edge, and economic growth, private development and opportunity will follow. In 2005 he led the charge to secure a $279 million federal relicensing settlement from the New York Power Authority, which has funded and continues to fund parks and public improvements along Buffalo’s Inner Harbor, including Canalside, and Outer Harbor.
In 2013, Brian set out to help the City of Niagara Falls reclaim its waterfront. He pushed for removal of the Robert Moses Parkway to reconnect people and neighborhoods with their waterfront and insisted the New York Power Authority was responsible for paying for it.
Brian’s waterfront efforts reach outside of the Cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls. Examples include: federal funding for the West River Parkway on Grand Island as well as the Intermodal Hub & Comfort Station connecting waterfront trails in the Tonawandas.
In Congress Brian is a champion for programs that promote, invest in and protect our water. Robust funding for the Army Corps of Engineers ensures waterways are navigable and shorelines are protected. Continued protection of our National Heritage Areas build new opportunities in Niagara Falls and along the Erie Canal. As a member of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force, Brian fights to reduce threats to our water, including chemical and wastewater pollution, harmful algal blooms, and invasive species, and pushes for expanded funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which has led to revitalization of the Buffalo River.
More on Waterfront
Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Representatives Paul Tonko and Brian Higgins today announced that the Omnibus Appropriations package, which is set to pass Congress, raises the lifetime funding cap for the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor to $12 million. Designated as a National Heritage Area in 2000 (NHA), the federal investment is $2 million more than the previously authorized level.
BUFFALO, NY – April 22, 2016, Spring cleaning was in full-effect. Over 2,000 Western New Yorkers participated in tidying up the shorelines across Erie and Niagara County for Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper’s annual Spring Shoreline Sweep.
The event targeted 40 shoreline sites in need of stewardship and litter removal throughout Erie and
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced approval of the Water Resources Development Act (S. 612) delivering support for projects enhancing local waterways, improving water infrastructure and rebuilding the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District headquarters.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an estimated 1.5 million visitors spent time at Canalside this summer, up from approximately 1 million in 2015. In addition, the Outer Harbor saw nearly 250,000 visitors this summer. New and expanded food, music, games, exercise, history, relaxation, art and other activities were offered to attract more visitors to Buffalo’s waterfront.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) was joined by researchers from the Buffalo State Great Lakes Center to announce funding from New York Sea Grant to support an innovative study intended to identify the source impacting water quality in the area around Gallagher Pier on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.