Constituent Services
Congressman Higgins Announces Federal Grant to Buffalo State College for Equipment to Research Buffalo River
August 23, 2007

           Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced that Buffalo State College will receive $308,980 in federal funds from the National Science Foundation (NSF).  This Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program award provides a grant for the acquisition of equipment to support research on the movement of sediment in the lower reaches of the Buffalo River and within Lake Champlain where reverse current may adversely affect long-term remediation. Faculty from Buffalo State College, Middlebury College (Vermont) and the University at Buffalo will collaborate on the project.


            “This funding will help us better understand sediment movement of our fresh water system and consequently better protect the future of these natural treasures,” said Congressman Higgins. 


            Specific equipment to be purchased includes: 1) multiple acoustic Doppler current profilers, surface meteorologic sensor packages, bottom water temperature sensors and associated hardware to initially install five observational systems along the reach of the lower Buffalo River; 2) a bathymetric profiling system; and 3) a laser diffraction based grain size analysis system. The acquisition of these instruments will support research on the physical processes that control sedimentation in the Buffalo River.


            The Buffalo River is a designated Area of Concern (AoC), heavily impacted by industrial wastes and bottom sediments that sequester a large variety of harmful inorganic and organic compounds. To be effective, remediation efforts need to consider the impact of water flow, as well as sediment movement.


            The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…" With an annual budget of about $5.92 billion, the NSF is the funding source for approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities.


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