By Newell Nussbaumer, originally published in Buffalo Rising on December 1, 2019, 9:46 am.
Waterkeeper 1660 Project Update
Waterfront access point along Scajaquada Creek (Photo: Waterkeeper)
It was back in September of 2015 the Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper announced that it would be demolishing an abandoned and neglected set of wharfs along Niagara Street. The plan was to build a small craft launch at the site, that would provide a crucial waterfront access point along the Scajaquada Creek, at the delta of the creek, where it meets the Black Rock Canal. The project was made possible thanks to the the vision and financial support of the following key supporters – Waterkeeper, the Buffalo Niagara River Land Trust, Congressman Brian Higgins, Senator Marc Panepinto, Alan Bozer, Chairman of the Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Fund Standing Committee, and representatives from community organizations.
At the time of the announcement, Adam Walters, Board President for the Trust, had this to say about the project:
“This project embodies all of the challenges the Buffalo Niagara Land Trust was created to resolve. Located on an urban brownfield, severely dilapidated privately owned buildings have hid the creek from the public for years. Through these generous grants and important partnership, this project will reclaim the space for environmental remediation, public fishing and boating access. We hope it is the start of many similar projects along the region’s waterfront,” said Walters.
At the same time, Mayor Brown said that the 1660 Project was another big win for Buffalo because it not only eliminated another Brownfield site, it was also a key component to the infrastructure improvements being made along Niagara Street.
In a recent new release, Waterkeeper announced that significant headway has been made towards the completion of the waterfront feature (see lead image). After three years, we now see the abandoned mechanic shop eradicated and another important piece of the waterfront puzzle in place. According to Waterkeeper, “The current landowner, Buffalo Niagara River Land Trust is working to have the site accessible to the community by mid-2020.”
Funding from NYPA. USFS, and US Canal Corps allowed us to purchase the parcel of land, demolish the structures, remediate the soils, stabilize the shoreline, and plant native vegetation along a portion of the historic Scajaquada Creek.