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
With another waterfront summer season well underway and a record-breaking one million-plus visitors expected at Canalside this year, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) and New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan are applauding Erie Canal Harbor Development (ECHDC) action to expand ferry service between Buffalo’s Inner and Outer Harbors.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) filed formal comments with the New York State Parks Commissioner expressing support for the preferred alternative option for the West River Greenway Connector Trail project in the Town of Grand Island.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) and New York State Senator Tim Kennedy announced that the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) has agreed to the Congressman’s request for a full and formal Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to examine alternatives to the Buffalo Skyway.
“A comprehensive review of the Skyway positions this community to make the best decisions moving forward,” said Congressman Higgins.
“Buffalo’s Outer Harbor area has great potential to become a major attraction that would help change the city’s regional and national image from an old industrial center to a city of new and exciting possibilities. Changing the waterfront ownership is fundamental to this goal…”
~ New York State Assemblyman Brian Higgins in 2002
Buffalo NY - The transformation of Scajaquada Creek gains momentum with a new waterfront park project led by Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper and the Buffalo Niagara River Land Trust. On Monday September 28, representatives from both organizations were joined by Congressman Brian Higgins, Senator Marc Panepinto and local community groups at a ribbon cutting ceremony to commence their collaborative efforts to demolish a condemned building and create a publicly accessible waterfront park and paddle-sport launch at 1660 Niagara Street in Buffalo.
In a detailed report highlighting investments leading to the quiet renaissance along the Buffalo River, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) outlined his vision for next steps of action to maintain waterfront momentum and capitalize economically on significant federal resources supporting the environmental revitalization of the Buffalo River.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) joined U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Buffalo District Commander Lt. Col. Karl Jansen to announce a $2.179 million dredging project in the Black Rock Channel.
Buffalo, NY - Mayor Byron Brown and Congressman Brian Higgins officially re-opened a 1.4 mile stretch of Ohio Street today, which continues to undergo an $11.3 million rehabilitation. Ohio Street is now operational, with nearly 70% of the work completed. The remainder of the project will be completed in spring 2015.