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Buffalo

Picture the restored Buffalo River, with natural shorelines and new habitat for wildlife. That's the goal for Scajaquada Creek, and the first step in Forest Lawn Cemetery is almost finished. "That water will be much, much cleaner," state Sen. Chris Jacobs, R-Buffalo, said Tuesday. Jacobs and state Assemblyman Sean Ryan, D-Buffalo, announced each had secured $300,0…

Buffalo

Gravel, sand and silt dredged from the bottom of the Buffalo River were once so toxic they had to be hauled off to a special site. But now, after a $75 million cleanup, sediment coming out of the river is healthy enough to be used to build a new habitat for fish, shorebirds, turtles and other aquatic wildlife on Buffalo's Unity Island. The first-of-its-kind project i…

Health and Fitness

Concern over the growing threat of tick-borne illnesses has prompted state leaders to announce a new, aggressive tick control plan and hold a Lyme disease summit this summer. Gov. Andrew Cuomo also announced plans  to raise awareness about the dangers of these diseases, particularly among hunters and hikers – two groups most likely to encounter ticks – and reduce tick n…

Environment

The northern part of  Tifft Nature Preserve on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor has a different look. Just last year it was overrun by acres of invasive buckthorn shrubs. Now, saplings of swamp white oaks, American sycamores, silver maples and other native trees and shrubs grow on the land. It’s part of a $147,000, multiyear project that’s creating native habitat for the ra…

Environment

The destructive European cherry fruit fly was found for the first time in the United States last year on wild honeysuckle plants and cherry trees along the Niagara River. So the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is back in Niagara County this spring surveying for the pest. The service said it will place traps designed to capture…

Environment

A tunnel collapse at the site of Tonawanda Coke may result in increased risks for environmental toxins in the surrounding community, the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York said today. Brian Borncamp, a Clean Air spokesman, said the organization received a call earlier today from a former employee at Tonawanda Coke who said that a waste heat tunnel at the River Road…

Environment

The draining of Como Park Lake earlier this week signals the first phase of a remediation that will include sediment testing and the replacement of two dam gates that regulate the flow of water. Residents who live near Como Park Lake in the Village of Lancaster have watched the steady decline of the manmade lake that once teemed with activity. They see the current em…

Environment

A national nonprofit conservation group petitioned the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service on Monday to list the lake sturgeon as a threatened or endangered species. In its 220-page petition, the Center for Biological Diversity requested the federal designation, citing a 99 percent decline in lake sturgeon populations over the last century due to overfishing, dam construction…

Environment

The abundance of lake trout in Lake Erie might lead you to believe the native fish thrive around here. A state Department of Environmental Conservation survey showed a 30 percent increase from 2016 to 2017. There’s a catch. Lake trout haven’t reproduced in Lake Erie in decades. So, where are they all coming from? Government agencies stock the lake every spri…

Environment

There's another invasive pest to keep an eye out for, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The spotted lanternfly, an invasive species from Asia, feeds on dozens of plants, including tree-of-heaven, maples, grapevines and hops, officials said. The DEC and state Department of Agriculture and Markets confirmed that a single dead spotted lant…

Business

A few dozen Labatt USA employees are getting dirty hands working with Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper. They're fishing for microplastics in area creeks and streams. A pilot project developed by Waterkeeper aims to gauge pollution this summer at 10 spots around the Buffalo area. “It’s a much needed data-set that we don’t have locally,” said Jill Jedlicka, Waterkeeper’s…

Environment

The Wheatfield Town Board voted unanimously Monday night to begin an environmental review of a proposed 23-home subdivision a half-mile north of the old Niagara Sanitation landfill, which once held toxic waste transferred from Love Canal. The town Planning Board has yet to vote on the Aubrey Way subdivision, first proposed in 2015 by Robert Weaver, owner of Bob Weaver M…

Environment

The Western New York Land Conservancy's "Restore the Gorge" plan for the Niagara River Gorge will be assisted with a $25,000 New York State Great Lakes Action Grant, announced Friday by the Department of Environmental Conservation. Measures to control non-native invasive plants in wetlands and adjoining areas will add to the Conservancy's larger multi-year effort to res…

Environment

Lake Ontario has been rising this spring, as usual, but as of Friday, water levels were 17 inches below those that caused significant flooding and erosion last year. The International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence Board, which controls lake outflows, has reduced lake outflows four times since April 28 to reduce flooding risks along the St. Lawrence River. "Flow reduction…

Construction and Growth

Ruth Boczar paid $18 a week for a family cabin on Allegany State Park's Buffalo Trail in 1957. Back then, camping for Boczar's family meant pumping and boiling water and using an old Coleman stove to cook. Today, the 65,000-acre state park in Cattaraugus County looks a lot different. The 97-year-old park this season will add mountain bike trails and two "ninja" playg…