Published on November 27th, 2016 | by GrowWNYAdmin0
PRESS RELEASE: Our Outer Harbor Announces Next Public Meeting
CONTACT: Nicole Matteson at (315) 879-7894 or NicoleLMatteson@gmail.com
BUFFALO, NY (Nov. 23, 2016) – The Our Outer Harbor Campaign (OOH), is pleased to announce its second public meeting, to be hosted by South District Councilman Christopher Scanlon on November 30, 2016 at 7:00 pm. The meeting will be held at the Buffalo Irish Center, 245 Abbott Road in South Buffalo.
The Our Outer Harbor Campaign (OOH) has been busy. “Since our first public meeting we have been on a fast track to meet with public officials and to schedule meetings in a variety of Buffalo communities,” reports Nicole Matteson of the Our Outer Harbor Coalition and 21st Century Park on the Outer Harbor, Inc. “We were pleased at how many people came to our initial public meeting at Riverworks on September 30th. Many of the over 200 attendees spoke or submitted written comments—all supported the concept of keeping publicly owned property in the hands of the public. Representatives from the broader boating and fishing communities, recreation and tourism, and many that support conservation and natural designs that would both benefit nature and public access attended our meeting. It is clear to us that the Outer Harbor is a critical regional asset and that it needs to be considered as such by any development investments.”
Lynda Schneekloth of the Western New York Environmental Alliance, an OOH coalition member, reports that the Coalition has generated a set of questions to be used in evaluating any proposed project for the Outer Harbor. “As a result of this meeting and discussion, we have decided to take a position against the development of a traditional Mountain Bike course on the Outer Harbor because this would negatively impact a critical ecological area (The Bell Slip area), would dedicate a lot of space for a relatively small constituency of users, and frankly, would be better sited elsewhere. This project would make a substantial portion of the public lands inaccessible to most of the public.”
Jay Burney of the Friends of Times Beach Nature Preserve and the Our Outer Harbor Coalition said “We hope that Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation and their new $1.56 million Outer Harbor design consultants (Trowbridge Wolf Michaels Landscape Architects) meet with us soon. We respect this firm. We have been told that we would be stakeholders and it has been two months since the firm was hired. The ECHDC has said that they want shovels in the ground by spring of 2017. That is just a few months from now. We hope that they do not create another Outer Harbor Plan without public input. Our public coalition has a lot to share about what should and could be on the Outer Harbor, now.”
Margaret Wooster of the OOH coalition said: “We continue to advocate for taking a hard environmental look at any development proposals for the Outer Harbor. Any new development should be consistent with the existing and potential natural character of the Outer Harbor as well as with the risks and vulnerability associated with its exposure to lake effect weather and its remoteness from city services.
The coalition advocates that the public lands and shorelines of the Outer Harbor, the last stretch of open waterfront in the City of Buffalo, remain publicly controlled regional asset. Any proposed use or development of these public properties must be used for purposes that benefit the wider public. The coalition further advocates that any projects proposed for this area should be water dependent and support the unique character of the Outer Harbor. More information and an online petition can be found on the campaign’s website, www.OurOuterHarbor.org.
The Our Outer Harbor Coalition recently released a newsletter and a report on the initial public meeting. The meeting report can be found here.