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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

Jul 1, 2013 Press Release
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) was joined by New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Regional Director Darrell Kaminski to announce ongoing progress on over $4.2 million in projects improving public access and recreational opportunities along Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.
May 30, 2013 Press Release
An $11.3 million plan to turn Ohio Street into a tree-lined parkway linking Buffalo’s inner and outer harbors continues to gain momentum. Today, Mayor Byron Brown was joined by Congressman Brian Higgins to announce that his recommendation to enter into a funding agreement with the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation and the New York State Department of Transportation was approved by the City Council, enabling the city to move forward with the construction phase of a 1.4 mile stretch of Ohio Street, between Michigan Avenue and Fuhrmann Boulevard.
May 29, 2013 Press Release
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) joined Cameron Davis, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Senior Advisor on Great Lakes issues, and Western New York leaders and community members for discussions on the future of the Great Lakes.
May 20, 2013 Press Release
Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) today cut the ribbon on its 520 linear foot dock extension along the Central Wharf at Canalside in Buffalo, doubling the dock’s length and bringing the total amount of berthing space to nearly 1,000 feet. It will allow for up to 40 additional boats to dock at Canalside.
May 15, 2013 Press Release
Congressman Brian Higgins released the following statement concerning today’s discussion hosted by state leaders about the future of the Buffalo Skyway. While Congressman Higgins is in Washington, DC for votes, his office participated in today’s roundtable conversation.
Apr 18, 2013 Press Release

The $5 million East Canal public space stretching between Washington and Main streets in Buffalo is under construction with a December 2013 completion date. The East Canal project will create an outdoor public space that will feature fountains, seating and a tree grove. It is located just south of One Canalside – the former Donovan State Office Building – which is currently being renovated into office and hotel space. Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy ceremonially broke ground with local officials on the latest components of the Canalside development today. 

Apr 10, 2013 Press Release

Today, in his Washington, DC office, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) met with U.S. Army Corps Buffalo District Commander Lieutenant Colonel Owen Beaudoin as well as Army Corp planning and project management staff to discuss plans recently announced by the Army Corps to fence-off access to Squaw Island Pier.  During the meeting the Army Corp agreed to reverse their decision and work with Congressman Higgins to maintain public access to the site. 

Apr 9, 2013 Press Release

Congressman Brian Higgins is saying “not so fast” to a federal agency planning to limit waterfront access in Buffalo.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently announced plans to fence off Squaw Island fishing pier, a popular waterfront access point for local fishing enthusiasts. Congressman Higgins raises formal objections to efforts to restrict access to the site in a letter to the Buffalo Commander. 

Mar 28, 2013 Press Release

This week marks the annual tradition of removing the ice boom from the Niagara River, a sign of spring, but this year also a sign of progress for Buffalo’s waterfront.  An agreement in the New York Power Authority (NYPA) relicensing settlement provided a new home for the ice boom, formerly stored on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor which has resulted in two new public waterfront parks.  


Mar 20, 2013 Press Release

 Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) expressed shock and disappointment upon learning of plans by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to “postpone” the 2013 National Veterans Golden Age Games in Buffalo, NY.  Higgins is urging the VA Secretary to reconsider and proceed with the event, titled Warriors on the Waterfront scheduled for May 30 through June 4, 2013.