Fri October 25, 2013
State testing feasibility of Outer Harbor swimming beach
As part of Albany's plan to open a new state park on Buffalo's waterfront, testing is underway to determine if the park will include a new swimming beach.
Shortly after last month's announcement by Governor Andrew Cuomo, testing was authorized for Gallagher Beach.
"There is going to be no swimming at that beach if it is deemed to be unsafe," says Pamm Lent, the governor's regional spokesperson.
Lent says testing started Monday and samples will be taken over the next few months of the surface and subsurface soil, sediment in the harbor, surface water and storm runoff. Lent says they'll be looking for bacteria, pesticides and other contaminants.
"It's an extensive list of chemicals that they're going to be reviewing...going above and beyond what they normally do for beaches given that this is an urban beach. And there's not a lot known about the condition of the water, the condition of the soil there. So we're going to get a complete picture of what the health of that area is," she says.
Gallagher Beach is located near brownfield sites from Buffalo's steel making days and it's not far from where sewer lines empty in to the Lake.
"It's important that we get this testing done. The results will be coming back at the beginning of next year and that will give us some answers that will help us decide what that property can be used for," Lent says.
Plans for the new state park also include a playground, sports field and picnic areas.