Biden Administration's proposed budget includes tens of millions for local waterways

Jun 7, 2021

Major construction would continue along the Great Lakes under the Biden Administration's proposed budget now before Congress.

The proposed budget includes nearly $21 million for Buffalo Harbor, nearly $11 million for the Black Rock Channel and $680,000 for Dunkirk Harbor. It also includes the first half-million for a long-term study of coastal resilience around the Great Lakes.

The resilience study has long been on the shopping list of lakes supporters, as climate change affects winter storms and lake levels.

"Securing that shoreline makes the development of Centennial Park, soon to be Ralph Wilson Jr. Park, possible," said Rep. Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo). "These are the essential elements that are necessary to realize the full potential."

Higgins said there hasn't been a plan for waterways since 2005, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is ready for projects if there is more cash.

"The more resources they have, the more they can protect their communities from the natural erosion that occurs along the Lake Erie shoreline," he said.

Higgins said a series of past projects has allowed developments on the waterfront because of the tens of thousands of truckloads of chemically-contaminated mud hauled out of the Buffalo River.