Another piece of Ohio Street’s revitalization is falling into place. This one is for both people and critters. Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper’s Ohio Street Boat Launch Habitat Restoration project is out for bid with work expected to start this fall. The Ohio Street Boat Launch site is located between the Buffalo River Landing apartment building where tenants are now moving in and the Patrick Paladino Memorial Boathouse that is under construction.
NYSDEC maintains the site for hand launching of canoes and kayaks along the Buffalo Urban Canoe Trail.
The restoration funding comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a federal program that is cleaning up heavily polluted “Areas of Concern” and addressing other problems in the lakes. The Great Lakes Commission is partnering with the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper to design and implement the restoration work over the next three years.
Nearly $4.7 million has been secured to restore degraded shoreline and create natural habitat at seven sites along the river. When fully implemented, the projects will restore nearly two miles of shoreline and more than 20 acres of habitat at seven sites on the lower Buffalo River: Riverbend, Riverfest Park, Blue Tower Turning Basin, Old Bailey Woods, Ohio Street Boat Launch, Katherine Street Peninsula and Buffalo Color Peninsula.
The habitat restoration work builds on more than a decade of planning and analysis by Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, which coordinates restoration efforts for the Buffalo River in cooperation with state and federal agencies and other partners. The partners have a goal of removing the river from the list of Great Lakes “toxic hotspots” by 2019.