Local AOC Coordinator Perspective  Jill Jedlicka, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper
Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper <ul><li>Riverkeeper combines firsthand knowledge of our waterways with an unwavering commitmen...
Space Shuttle Photo Courtesy of USEPA-GLNPO/NASA
Buffalo River Watershed
&quot;The Buffalo River is a  repulsive holding basin  for industrial and municipal wastes, it is devoid of oxygen and alm...
“ In places the river's surface is a  boundless mosaic of color  and patterns resulting from the mixture of organic dyes, ...
<ul><li>“ It could have been just the normal oil load that happened to collect in that spot” </li></ul>
How do you make this…….turn into this? Photo courtesy of: Lower Lakes Marine Historical Society
The  Value Aesthetic  Commercial Cultural Ecological Economic Habitat Historical Marketing  Quality of Life Recreational o...
“… repulsive holding basin?”
“… boundless mosaic of color?”
Changing attitudes…
Changing perspectives…
Changing behaviors…
..results in real action.
Stakeholder Collaboration for the  Buffalo River Project <ul><li>Development of RI/FS </li></ul><ul><li>Data gaps analysis...
 
Promote the successes. Build community support.
Current River “Investors” <ul><li>USEPA-Region 2 </li></ul><ul><li>USEPA-GLNPO </li></ul><ul><li>US Fish & Wildlife Servic...
Love that “muddy little river”… <ul><li>Buffalo River RAP Coordination </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sediment, habitat, sewers, no...
Love that “muddy little river”…con’t <ul><li>Erie Canal Harbor revitalization/public access </li></ul><ul><li>Railroad His...
Buffalo’s Economy feeling “Blue” <ul><li>Measuring the Investment in River Restoration </li></ul><ul><li>Riverkeeper-USACE...
QUESTIONS? Jill Jedlicka Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper 1250 Niagara Street Buffalo, NY  14213 716-852-7483  ext. 21 [email_a...
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Creating A Paradigm Shift, Putting the Buffalo River First - Jill Spisiak

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  • The BAD NEWS: 7.1 mile slow flowing urban waterway that snakes its way through neighborhoods and former industrial brownfields in South Buffalo, New York. It drains a 440 square mile watershed that encompasses 25 municipalities and 3 counties. The mouth of the Buffalo River, at the confluence of Lake Erie and the Niagara River, served as the eastern most terminus for the Erie Canal, and was a major conduit for goods and migrants traveling between New York City and the Midwestern United States. Buffalo’s proximity to Niagara Falls and access to cheap hydropower, lake freighter access, and significant rail infrastructure all combined to make Buffalo one of the top ten economies in the world in the early 1900’s. Heavy industry, including chemical and dye manufacturing, grain milling, oil, petroleum, and coke processing and pesticides, all crowded the 13 miles of shoreline of the Buffalo River. By 1965 the River was declared dead by the US Department of Interior, had no oxygen, only supported minimal pollutant-tolerant aquatic or benthic life, and occasionally caught fire. What began as a 5 foot deep wetland throughout south Buffalo in the 1700s transformed into a 23 foot deep, dredged navigation channel with nearly 100% hardened shoreline by the mid 1900s. Much of the surrounding land of the Buffalo River AOC is zone for light-heavy manufacturing, existing industry or brownfield and vacant land. (See Figure 1.2).
  • This was the legacy of the Buffalo River Photo is 1960 vintage Shown are the former Allied Signal facility and Republic steel complex Note the extensive oil sheens in the river from discharges from the facilities and the railroad yard It was this type of disregard for the environment that has left us to deal with the contamination problems we face today. DEC got involved because BNRK needed matching funds to implement a Feasibility Study on the Buffalo River being proposed by the ACoEs The ACoE estimated the cost of the sampling work at $718,000 of a $2.1 million study Program match was 50/50. The BNRK would come up with the remaining match using $ and in kind services.
  • JILL: By now the river had become so altered that it no longer resembled a natural system and pretty much became a component of the production process. In January of 1968, the Buffalo River had reached rock bottom of environmental degradation and caught fire. But unlike Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River, which made the national news when it burst into flame, the burning Buffalo River rated only a small spot on a back page of the local newspaper. There was some recreational usage of the river at that time, as local youths in south Buffalo would periodically try to set the river on fire- kind of a 1960’s version of passive recreation. At this point, the Buffalo River was one of the most seriously polluted rivers in America.
  • The GOOD NEWS: “clean slate”:
  • Creating A Paradigm Shift, Putting the Buffalo River First - Jill Spisiak

    1. 1. Local AOC Coordinator Perspective Jill Jedlicka, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper
    2. 2. Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper <ul><li>Riverkeeper combines firsthand knowledge of our waterways with an unwavering commitment to the rights of our communities to clean water. </li></ul><ul><li>Our goal is for everyone to have access to fishable, swimmable and drinkable waterways throughout the Buffalo Niagara region. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Space Shuttle Photo Courtesy of USEPA-GLNPO/NASA
    4. 4. Buffalo River Watershed
    5. 5. &quot;The Buffalo River is a repulsive holding basin for industrial and municipal wastes, it is devoid of oxygen and almost sterile...&quot;
    6. 6. “ In places the river's surface is a boundless mosaic of color and patterns resulting from the mixture of organic dyes, steel mill and oil refinery wastes, raw sewage, and garbage.&quot; Statement by the Federal Water Pollution Control Administration, United States Department of the Interior, 1968.
    7. 7. <ul><li>“ It could have been just the normal oil load that happened to collect in that spot” </li></ul>
    8. 8. How do you make this…….turn into this? Photo courtesy of: Lower Lakes Marine Historical Society
    9. 9. The Value Aesthetic Commercial Cultural Ecological Economic Habitat Historical Marketing Quality of Life Recreational of a Waterway PARADIGM SHIFT…
    10. 10. “… repulsive holding basin?”
    11. 11. “… boundless mosaic of color?”
    12. 12. Changing attitudes…
    13. 13. Changing perspectives…
    14. 14. Changing behaviors…
    15. 15. ..results in real action.
    16. 16. Stakeholder Collaboration for the Buffalo River Project <ul><li>Development of RI/FS </li></ul><ul><li>Data gaps analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Risk characterization and analysis of Beneficial Use Impairments (BUI) </li></ul><ul><li>Peer review of design work </li></ul>Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper Honeywell USACE <ul><li>Peer review of RI/FS </li></ul><ul><li>Peer review of design work </li></ul><ul><li>Public interaction & communication with the community </li></ul><ul><li>Identification and development of restoration alternatives </li></ul><ul><li>Peer review of RI/FS and design </li></ul><ul><li>Permitting </li></ul><ul><li>CDF engineering, upgrades, review </li></ul><ul><li>Lead GLRI dredging of the navigation channel </li></ul>NYSDEC <ul><li>Peer review of RI/FS </li></ul><ul><li>Peer review of design work </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure CERCLA and RCRA compliance </li></ul><ul><li>Remedy negotiation </li></ul><ul><li>Permitting </li></ul>USEPA Region 2 & US AG <ul><li>Peer review of RI/FS </li></ul><ul><li>Peer review of design </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure CERCLA and RCRA compliance </li></ul>USEPA GLNPO <ul><li>Peer review of RI/FS </li></ul><ul><li>Lead detailed design </li></ul><ul><li>Public relations / meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Project management </li></ul>Buffalo River Collaboration
    17. 18. Promote the successes. Build community support.
    18. 19. Current River “Investors” <ul><li>USEPA-Region 2 </li></ul><ul><li>USEPA-GLNPO </li></ul><ul><li>US Fish & Wildlife Service </li></ul><ul><li>National Fish and Wildlife Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>NOAA </li></ul><ul><li>USACE-Buffalo District </li></ul><ul><li>NYSDEC- Region 9 </li></ul><ul><li>NYS Dept. of State- Coastal Zone </li></ul><ul><li>NYS Dept. of Health </li></ul><ul><li>NYS Dept. of Transportation </li></ul><ul><li>NYS Attorney General’s Office </li></ul><ul><li>City of Buffalo </li></ul><ul><li>County of Erie </li></ul><ul><li>Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper </li></ul><ul><li>Old First Ward Community Center </li></ul><ul><li>Valley Community Association </li></ul><ul><li>Buffalo State College </li></ul><ul><li>University at Buffalo </li></ul><ul><li>Honeywell </li></ul><ul><li>Exxon Mobil </li></ul><ul><li>Ontario Specialty Contractors </li></ul><ul><li>Ellicott Development Corporation </li></ul><ul><li>Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. </li></ul><ul><li>Buffalo Urban Development Corp. </li></ul><ul><li>China Light Marina </li></ul><ul><li>RiverWright, Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>New York Power Authority </li></ul><ul><li>Buffalo Sewer Authority </li></ul><ul><li>Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority </li></ul><ul><li>Buffalo Scholastic Rowing Association </li></ul><ul><li>Niagara River Greenway Commission </li></ul><ul><li>Margaret L. Wendt Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>Seneca Nation of Indians </li></ul><ul><li>Railroad Historical Society </li></ul>
    19. 20. Love that “muddy little river”… <ul><li>Buffalo River RAP Coordination </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sediment, habitat, sewers, non-point source, outreach, BUI assessment, delisting targets, overall remedial strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Buffalo River Sediments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>312 agreement, GLNPO discretionary funds, Legacy RI/FS and RD partnerships (4 agreements to date); GLRI-USACE dredging in 2011, beneficial re-use </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Buffalo River Brownfield Opportunity Area </li></ul><ul><li>Buffalo River Greenway </li></ul><ul><li>RiverBend Master Planning, GLRI- habitat restoration (EPA and NOAA), Green infrastructure, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Seneca Bluffs Habitat Restoration/Volunteer Engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Buffalo RiverFest Park </li></ul>
    20. 21. Love that “muddy little river”…con’t <ul><li>Erie Canal Harbor revitalization/public access </li></ul><ul><li>Railroad Historical Society (former Brownfield), Industrial Heritage Trail, Edward M. Cotter fireboat </li></ul><ul><li>Ohio Street Greenway/Green Infrastructure improvements </li></ul><ul><li>Buffalo Scholastic Rowing Association </li></ul><ul><li>NYPA ice boom park </li></ul><ul><li>Bailey Avenue Bridge mitigation and Park design </li></ul><ul><li>West Seneca Oxbow </li></ul><ul><li>NRD litigation </li></ul>
    21. 22. Buffalo’s Economy feeling “Blue” <ul><li>Measuring the Investment in River Restoration </li></ul><ul><li>Riverkeeper-USACE 312 Agreement = $2.1 million </li></ul><ul><li>Riverkeeper-USEPA/GLNPO Legacy Act Agreement = $2 million </li></ul><ul><li>Riverkeeper/USEPA/Honeywell Legacy Act Agreement = $6 million </li></ul><ul><li>Buffalo River Ecological Master Plan = $250,000 </li></ul><ul><li>USACE-GLRI Enhanced Navigational Dredging (2010-11) = $8.2 million </li></ul><ul><li>Brownfield Opportunity Area Planning, South Buffalo and Buffalo River = $1.4 million </li></ul><ul><li>BUDC/RiverBend Upland Master Plan = $600,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Riverkeeper 2010 Buffalo River GLRI Restoration Projects (3 of 5) = $1.3 million </li></ul><ul><li>Pending Great Lakes Legacy Act-Buffalo River Remediation = ~ $40+ million </li></ul><ul><li>Valley Community Center-Buffalo RiverFest Park = $3+ million </li></ul><ul><li>Buffalo Sewer Authority/Riverkeeper Pilot Green Infrastructure Project = $35,000 </li></ul>
    22. 23. QUESTIONS? Jill Jedlicka Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper 1250 Niagara Street Buffalo, NY 14213 716-852-7483 ext. 21 [email_address]
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