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Safe Boating Urged as Outer Harbor Wetland Construction Begins

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District
Published June 6, 2024
Updated: June 6, 2024
A crane on a derrickboat lifts a mechanical claw out of water next to a barge full of stones.

A crane and mechanical claw aboard a derrick boat place loose stone from a barge to construct a stone breakwater in Buffalo, N.Y., Oct. 13, 2023. The breakwater will contain sediment dredged from the Buffalo River, to form the base of a new wetland ecosystem in the abandoned Shipping Slip 3 on the city’s Outer Harbor. (U.S. Army photo by Avery Schneider)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District is urging boaters to use caution as construction of the submerged stone wall at the entrance to Shipping Slip 3 on the Outer Harbor begins.

Buoys that marked the submerged wall have been removed, allowing Ryba Marine Construction Co. to finish placement of additional bedding stone, 4.8 feet of underlayer stone, and 7.2 feet of armor stone.

“We understand this area is a popular kayaking and fishing spot, so we’re asking the public to give the heavy machinery some space while placing stone,” said Tim Noon, USACE project manager. “For a few short weeks of construction, followed by dredged material placement, the return will be a project that provides a biodiverse ecosystem with lasting benefits for generations to come.”

Previous construction from September to October 2023 included placement of 17,200 tons of bedding stone at the opening of Slip 3. Placing the bedding stone late last year allowed the stone to displace silty sediment at the bottom of the slip and settle over the winter.

The completed breakwater will extend across the entire mouth of the slip, with a portion submerged to allow for connectivity to Lake Erie and the increased health of the future wetlands. Construction of the breakwater (Phase 1) is expected to conclude in July 2024, after which material dredged from the Buffalo River will start to fill the slip (Phase 2).

Additional project information and safety signage will be installed along Fuhrman Boulevard, outside Slip 3, and neighboring Wilkeson Pointe to keep the public informed and help ensure safety at the site.

With partial funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and a cost-sharing partnership with Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, the overall $14.8 million project aims to reverse coastal wetland degradation in the Niagara River system and across the Great Lakes. Decades of industrial development and hardening of shorelines has diminished fish nursery and spawning habitats in these areas.

Graphics and photos available at:

Renderings of the site are available at:

Andrew Kornacki
478 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202

Release no. 24-090

Chick Lock

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