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Letter: Do not rush to build on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor

Everyone knows the parable of the foolish man who built his house on sand. “The rains came, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell – and great was its fall.” Clearly the message here is the importance of planning wisely.

The proposed 20-floor tower on the Outer Harbor raises many questions. Engineers point to the fact that parts of our shoreline are surely sand, and the sands that were used to fill in the ancient wetlands of the east end of Lake Erie came from the contaminated sediments of the Buffalo River at the heyday of our industrial revolution, before there were environmental laws to protect public health.

Buffalo is richly blessed with water assets. They are meant for the benefit of all. We already know of so many foolish, short-sighted decisions which our region has had to live with for decades. So perhaps there are other, deeper questions: Who benefits and who loses from this project? What does this project do for the people of our region, as well as the generations who come after us? As another writer recently said, “Let’s try being a smart city, one that respects nature…” The recent Buffalo News editorial sums it up: “Environmental concerns need to be balanced with the rush to development.”

Sister Eileen O’Connor

Amherst

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