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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

Mar 1, 2013 Press Release

 Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced continued progress on Buffalo’s waterfront with today’s action by the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) board to approve a contract for construction of the East Canal. 

Feb 28, 2013 Press Release

“Today’s meeting of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Board drew thoughtful discussion about the future transportation needs in downtown Buffalo.  I commend Chairman Howard Zemsky and Executive Director Kim Minkel’s announcement that the NFTA will prepare a scope of work for a feasibility study regarding the future of the DL& W site and Metro Events Station.  

Jan 17, 2013 Press Release

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) stood along the Robert Moses Parkway in Niagara Falls and laid out a detailed plan to help the City fight to reclaim its waterfront and reap the economic benefit that comes with that effort.  In a document titled "The Niagara Falls Waterfront:  NYPA's Responsibility for the Robert Moses Parkway," Higgins outlines New York Power Authority's (NYPA) involvement historically and argues that it is the Authority's duty to make things right.  

Dec 17, 2012 Press Release

Congressman Brian Higgins called Monday’s announcement of a proposal for Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) assume control of waterfront property owned by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) a turning point for Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.  The City of Buffalo and ECHDC, each previously expressed interest and today are moving forward with a plan that would have ECHDC acquire the property with the City of Buffalo playing a role in its future. 

Dec 17, 2012 Press Release

 Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) and the City of Buffalo today submitted a joint proposal in response to the request for proposals issued by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) for its 384 acres of waterfront land holdings on Buffalo’s outer harbor.  The joint proposal was filed by the 4 p.m. December 17, 2012 deadline.  

Dec 10, 2012 Press Release

Congressman Brian Higgins is calling for the transfer of the Outer Harbor Property currently owned by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) to come at a cost not to exceed $2.  

Nov 14, 2012 Press Release

“Today’s action by Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) continues momentum to create a riverfront parkway at Ohio Street. Considerable progress is already visible along Canalside, the Outer Harbor and the Buffalo River and more work is underway currently.  Ohio Street provides the infrastructure needed to connect the public spaces we’ve created along our waterfront, link existing neighborhoods to the water’s edge and support new economic development opportunities moving forward.  It also can serve as one of several transportation alternatives to the Skyway.

Oct 27, 2012 Press Release

Congressman Brian Higgins and Erie Canal Harbor Development (ECHDC) President Tom Dee marked the start of construction on a demonstration project which could lead to sand beaches along Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. 

Sep 24, 2012 Press Release

Congressman Brian Higgins is asking the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) to put the brakes on long-term maintenance of the Buffalo Skyway while alternatives are reviewed.  Specifically, Higgins is requesting the DOT refrain from including expensive Skyway rehab on the State’s Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) projects list. 

Sep 12, 2012 Press Release

Congressman Brian Higgins applauded today’s action by the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) to construct sand beaches at Gallagher Beach and the Outer Harbor Parcel that was once the home of the NYPA Ice Boom.