Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced that he secured $200,000 in federal funding for Buffalo River sediment removal and remediation. The funding was included in the Energy & Water Appropriations bill passed by the House of Representatives this week and will be used by the Army Corps of Engineers for the remediation.
This project is to remove and/or remediate contaminated sediment in the Buffalo River. The Buffalo River and its sediment have been impaired by past municipal and industrial discharges and heavy industrial development along its banks. Chemical contamination of river sediment and physical disturbances to the river bottom and shoreline has all but eliminated fish and wildlife habitat along the river. Other impairments include restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption, fish tumors and other deformities, degradation of benthos, and restrictions on dredging activities.
This is first time the Army Corps of Engineers has contracted with a community based group (The Buffalo Riverkeepers) to get the work done. “This funding is critical to ensure the continuation of the unique partnership for the public benefit,” said Higgins. “Keeping our river clean and free of sediment is of utmost importance to our community and I thank the Buffalo Riverkeepers for their dedication to this important cause.”
“This is great news for the Buffalo River, one of 42 Great Lakes Areas of Concern or Toxic Hotspots, because of its contaminated sediments. It is an expensive problem to fix but these funds will help us finally get the job done,” said Margaret Wooster, Acting Executive Director of the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeepers.