Buffalo River Sediment Remediation

Buffalo River Legacy Act Project

In 1969, the Buffalo River was declared biologically dead. De-oxygenation resulting from decades of industrial and municipal discharge into the river made the water uninhabitable for wildlife and posed serious health risks for humans. Starting in 2002, Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper brought together public and private partners, as well as individuals, to secure funding and coordinate the massive cleanup effort. Together, their efforts have removed 1 million cubic yards of contaminated sediment and restored over six miles of shoreline.

A unique public-private partnership, including the U.S. EPA’s Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO), Buffalo Niagara WATERKEEPER® (BNW), Honeywell, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), developed plans to address a number of environmental problems affecting the Buffalo River. The Environmental Challenges included: contaminated river sediments, poor water quality, a lack of public access, and insufficientfishand wildlife habitat. The project was one of the first efforts to address multiple environmental issues in a single cleanup. The new partnership brought together resources and expertise to plan comprehensive cleanup of the Buffalo River.

The sediment remediation project had four main phases:
Navigational Dredging
In 2011-2012,USACE dredged out 550,000 CY of contaminated sediments from Buffalo River and City Ship Canal.
Environmental Dredging
In 2012,EPA and Honeywell split $48.5 million cost share to further restoration efforts, including installing silt curtains, further dredging and paying to move dredged sediment into the Contained Disposal Facility (CDF.)
限製was the chosen remedy for some of the bed of the City Ship Canal, so the Project Team laid a 5.5 foot thick layer of clean material over the contaminated material.
Habitat Restoration
In-water habitat restorationand native plant installation to improve habitat for fish and other aquatic wildlife restored more than seven acres across five project sites.

Individual projects under the Legacy Act were completed in 2018 and monitoring of the project continues. This project was a great milestone toward transforming the Buffalo River into a beneficial environmental, economic, and community resource.

For more information, visitNYSDEC.

Click below to learn more about the Buffalo River:

DOWNLOADS: Buffalo River Feasibility Study

Download here (NOTE: these are large files and may take minutes to download to your computer):

Final Buffalo River Feasibility Study – Executive Summary through Section 6CLICK HERE

Final Buffalo River Feasibility Study – Sections 7 – 9CLICK HERE

Final Buffalo River Feasibility Study – Appendix A – BCLICK HERE

Final Buffalo River Feasibility Study – Appendix C – ECLICK HERE

Final Buffalo River Feasibility Study – Appendix F (EEE Report); Sections 1-7CLICK HERE

Final Buffalo River Feasibility Study – Appendix F; TablesCLICK HERE

Final Buffalo River Feasibility Study – Appendix F; Figures 1 – 7bCLICK HERE

Final Buffalo River Feasibility Study – Appendix F; Figures 8 – 13bCLICK HERE

Final Buffalo River Feasibility Study – Appendix F; Appendix A – CCLICK HERE

Or, download these fact sheets:

Buffalo River Restoration Fact sheet #1

Fact Sheet 2 – Projects to Revitalize Buffalo River

We held our first public meeting on December 13, 2010 to display and explain the study. For a report on WBFO radio,click here.For the report in the Buffalo News,click here.