Over the years, the North District Waterfront Review Committee has fought for public access to the Niagara River. This has meant pursuing any avenue or challenging any commercial development that arose in the spirit of gaining what had long since been lost.
Squaw Island has been the priority project on our agenda. While many remember this land as a city dump, others remember it as their haven. We have been working with public officials and governmental agencies to return the north end of Squaw Island to the citizens as a retreat from city life and access to the river.
Years of effort by common citizens, and millions of dollars of investment by Buffalo, cannot be usurped by private interests contemplating violating this land for another highway-based transportation system.
It is mainly transportation that the waterfront has been lost to. Another bridge across the river to service trucks on Squaw Island would be a crime. Those who doubt this should visit this place to see the oasis that is being formed.
Our group is against any notion of either landing or allowing the passage of an international truck route across Squaw Island.
It has taken many years, but the Department of Environmental Conservation's closure plan is becoming reality. The incinerator ash lagoons have been contained and the incinerator building is gone. On the land north of the railroad tracks, the two ponds have been remedied of sediment problems, and a wetland area is being re-established.
This will be an achievement we all should be proud of. Let's not give it away.
Chairman, North District Waterfront Review Committee