Army Corps proposes dredge recycling to redevelop Squaw Island ecosystem

Oct 24, 2014

Squaw Island State Park on Buffalo’s West side could be the site of some natural recycling.

The mouth of the Buffalo River was once home to 700 acres of wetland marsh.  Over the years, that number has dwindled down to only 75. 

Existing Squaw Island North Pond Site
Credit U.S. Army Corps of Engineers / WBFO News

But a new proposal from the Corps of Engineers aims to re-establish an aquatic habitat at Squaw Island’s north pond.  With sediment from the dredging project in the Buffalo River, the Corps intends to help encourage new fish and bird species in the area, and increase public safety.  It’s called “beneficial use.”  Ken Podsiadlo is the Corps’ project manager for this plan, and he says the materials that will be used at the site will be safe…

Remediation has already taken place in the Buffalo River.  In the future, sediment will be suitable for this type of project.  However, there will be testing protocol that will be in place to test all the material prior to any beneficial use. --Ken Podsiadlo, Project Manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Proposed Submerged & Emergent Wetlands at Squaw Island North Pond.
Credit U.S. Army Corps of Engineers / WBFO News

The total cost of the project is 2.9 million dollars.  Nearly two thirds of that would be federally funded, plus one million coming from the site’s owner – the City of Buffalo.  Podsiadlo says the city is interested in partnering to implement the project, and would apply for its portion of the funds through the Greenway Ecological Standing Committee – a fund intended to improve the Niagara River Greenway through ecological restoration.  If the money comes through, the Corps’ goal is completion of construction by late 2017.

Cross Section of Proposed Submerged & Emergent Wetlands at Squaw island North Pond
Credit U.S. Army Corps of Engineers / WBFO News