Harbor plans threaten our shoreline ecosystem
The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp.’s proposed plans for Buffalo’s outer harbor threaten our city’s ecological and cultural inheritance.
All iterations of the ECHDC’s proposed plans call for surrounding Times Beach Nature Preserve with publicly funded condominiums and surface-level parking. These plans also call for building condominiums and surface-level parking on Wilkeson Pointe Park proper. The effects of such an ill-advised and needless construction project would be calamitous to our precious shoreline ecosystem.
Times Beach serves as a migratory destination for a multitude of wild birds and butterflies, all of which would be adversely affected by such a drastic overhaul in the landscape. Ambient light, noise, additional vehicles, traffic, surface water runoff and pesticides are all side effects of such a project on the shores of the Niagara River. Our environment is too valuable to put it at risk with such narrow-minded development.
Our wildlife-friendly outer harbor serves as an excellent companion to the hustle and bustle of the inner harbor. Times Beach and the surrounding areas should be allowed to flourish and serve as the wildlife corridors they are; a green respite in our Rust Belt city. Let them exist as a keystone waterfront park with public access, not private residency.
It’s imperative that we avoid degrading our environment in the name of this mindless sprawl. Sometimes progress is measured in what we protect, not in what we build.