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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

Apr 1, 2014 Press Release

Construction on an $11.3 million plan to turn Ohio Street into a tree-lined parkway linking Buffalo’s inner and outer harbors began today. Mayor Byron Brown and Congressman Brian Higgins announced that the city has moved forward with the construction phase of a 1.4 mile stretch of Ohio Street, between Michigan Avenue and Fuhrmann Boulevard. 

Feb 27, 2014 Press Release
Today the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) took action to officially transfer its Buffalo Outer Harbor property to Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC).
Jan 13, 2014 Press Release
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) hailed action by the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) to begin the process of accepting the transfer of Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) Outer Harbor property. Upon execution of the documents, ECHDC will own approximately 353 acres of property previously under NFTA control. Under the agreement New York State Parks will operate Gallagher Beach and the Small Boat Harbor.
Nov 25, 2013 Press Release
Phillips Lytle LLP, one of the region’s preeminent law firms, cut the ribbon today on its new 85,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art offices. The law firm occupies the top four floors of the eight-story former Donovan State Office Building, now known as One Canalside.
Nov 21, 2013 Press Release
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26), who grew up in the shadows of Bethlehem and Republic Steel, welcomed developments at the RiverBend site to bring new opportunities and jobs that fit the dynamics of today's economy.
Nov 20, 2013 Press Release
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that National Grid will invest approximately $4.2 million in infrastructure upgrades to the Ohio Street corridor in Buffalo with the potential for another $10 to $12 million in the next several years. This investment will ensure that the corridor from Michigan Avenue to the Ohio Street lift-bridge is shovel-ready in order to attract mixed-use development. National Grid’s contribution complements the more than $10 million investment being made by state, city and federal governments to turn Ohio Street into a tree-lined parkway linking Buffalo’s inner and outer harbors. Ground was also broken today on the City of Buffalo’s recently approved streetscape project, which includes the reconstruction of the street between its start at Route 5/Fuhrmann Boulevard and Michigan Avenue, plus improvements at St. Clair Street between Ohio and South streets.
Nov 13, 2013 Press Release
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) welcomed continued momentum on the project to transform Ohio Street into a riverfront parkway following City of Buffalo Common Council approval on the contract.
Sep 5, 2013 Press Release
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today presented his plan for a dramatic transformation of Buffalo’s waterfront. The first component of the plan calls for the transfer of up to 400 acres of land on the Outer Harbor from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) to the State, bringing the community’s goal of increasing future recreational opportunities and fostering redevelopment on Buffalo’s waterfront closer to reality.
Aug 8, 2013 Press Release
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) welcomed the United States Geological Survey (USGS) research vessel, the Muskie, to Canalside for public tours.
Aug 7, 2013 Press Release
Congressman Brian Higgins and members of the Buffalo Lighthouse Association celebrated National Lighthouse Day by announcing public tours of the 180 year-old historic landmark.