Constituent Services
Higgins Seeks to Expand Public Access and Green Space in and Around Historic Buffalo Lighthouse
March 20, 2006
Coast Guard Agrees to Review Proposal to Consolidate Facilities into Ten Acres, Leaving 20 Acres for Public Use at Water’s Edge
 
Buffalo, NY—Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced that the Coast Guard has agreed to review a proposal to consolidate its units and operations on the Outer Harbor of Lake Erie in Buffalo onto ten acres, opening up the remaining 20 acres the Coast Guard presently occupies for public access and green space around the historic Buffalo Lighthouse at the water’s edge.  This comes after a meeting Higgins had last week with Rear Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., Commander, Ninth Coast Guard District to discuss the Coast Guard facilities on the Outer Harbor. 
 
“The agreement with the Coast Guard to look at a proposal to open up 20 acres of green space along the water’s edge is significant and exciting,” said Higgins.  “The public could enjoy full and clear access to the historic ‘Chinamen’s’ Lighthouse and areas surrounding it, which builds on the momentum we’re seeing at the Outer Harbor.  Best of all, this progress would not sacrifice any of the homeland security, search and rescue, navigational and other services the Coast Guard provides to Buffalo and other Lake Erie communities.  I was heartened by the Coast Guard’s enthusiastic and cooperative approach to this proposal, and I look forward to working with them to see this through.”
 
Currently the Coast Guard occupies 30 acres surrounding the Buffalo Lighthouse and limits access to parts of the Outer Harbor.  The proposal Higgins and Admiral Papp discussed today would take a look at the Coast Guard consolidating its operations to ten acres, leaving 20 acres of waterfront property, including the historic lighthouse, for public access.
 
Coast Guard Sector Buffalo is located at the head of the Niagara River and the eastern end of Lake Erie.  Sector Buffalo provides search and rescue, law enforcement, aids-to-navigation, recreational boating safety, marine environmental response, and ice operations services to the public.  Its area of responsibility includes Lake Erie from Lorain, Ohio, to Buffalo, New York, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes, the Erie Canal, and the St. Lawrence Seaway to Massena, New York. 
 
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