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Great Lakes AOCs

Restoring Buffalo River AOC (timeline)

Year Critical Actions
2016 EPA, USACE, Erie County, and Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper (via NOAA) utilizes GLRI funding to design and implement habitat restoration projects within the AOC.
2014-2015 In-water habitat restoration begins in the Buffalo River AOC and the Legacy Act dredging is completed. Approximately 480,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment are remediated via dredging and capping.

Dredging begins in the Buffalo River and City Ship Canal under the Great Lakes Legacy Act program.

Great Lakes Legacy Act Remedial Design is completed.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completes the strategic navigation dredging project with GLRI funding, having dredged a backlog of approximately 450,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediments from the navigation channel.

With GLRI funding, the USACE’s Times Beach Aquatic Invasive Species Removal demonstration project uses a combination of mechanical, chemical, and biologic controls to manage and control invasive species at Times Beach.

Riverkeeper received GLRI funding from EPA and NOAA to complete a  riparian habitat restoration at Riverbend.

Stage II RAP is completed.

2010 Great Lakes Legacy Act Feasibility Study is completed.

The Buffalo Greenway Vision and Implementation Plan begins with funding from the City of Buffalo. Goals include identifying possible AOC buffer areas, creating green space and green infrastructure to reduce excess stormwater into combined sewer overflows.

Honeywell signs the Great Lakes Legacy Act Project Agreement as a non-federal sponsor.

RAP status report is completed. The report outlines the results of several studies and the adoption of delisting criteria.


EPA and Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper sign the Great Lakes Legacy Act Project Agreement.

EPA and NYS DEC conduct comprehensive sediment sampling of the lower Buffalo River and City Ship Canal.

Times Beach is formally designated a nature preserve. It was created from the disposal site of earlier dredging. It works to improve public access and wildlife habitat.


Seneca Bluffs habitat restoration project is completed. The project improves fish and bird habitat, carries out pollution control, and creates safe areas for fishing and walking.

Buffalo River Environmental Dredging Feasibility Study agreement is signed between U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper (RAP coordinator).

NYS DEC conducts comprehensive sediment sampling of the upper Buffalo River in support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ feasibility study.

Assessment of potential aquatic habitat restoration sites in the Buffalo River AOC is completed. Results indicate an increase in size and population of largemouth bass and a low-density benthic community.

1999 Buffalo River RAP status report is completed.

Construction is completed at three habitat restoration sites:

  • Ohio Street Boat Launch
  • Smith Street
  • Bailey Avenue Peninsula
1995 Buffalo River AOC RAP status report is completed.

First Remedial Action Plan is published.

Buffalo River is named an AOC.