Western New York sits adjacent to 70 percent of the world’s fresh water and is home to 16 rivers and waterways. Two of our local waterways have been front and center recently in efforts to preserve and restore our natural environment, and everyone is encouraged to learn more in upcoming tours and workshops.
Last month, the health of the Buffalo River was in the spotlight in a summit hosted by Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper. At the summit, Riverkeeper reported that recent clean-up efforts could lead to the river being delisted as an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “Area of Concern”. The Buffalo River was listed as an EPA “Area of Concern” due to environmental degradation, and considering it was declared dead in 1965, Riverkeeper and its community partners have come a long way.
With planning and progress being made on the Buffalo River, attention is now on the Niagara River. Riverkeeper is hosting public workshops to gather input on their Niagara River Habitat Conservation Strategy, which will focus on the 37-mile river that connects Lakes Erie and Ontario. For details about the public workshops, CLICK HERE >>
This summer, watch out for these opportunities to experience our local waterways firsthand:
- Tours of the Niagara River in mid-June. CLICK HERE >>
- Family Lake Exploration days starting in late June. CLICK HERE >>
On the river tour, you will paddle along the Niagara River to find shore bird breeding habitats, including a Great Blue Heron rookery. Boaters will also learn how the Army Corps of Engineers has partnered with the Department of Environmental Conservation to restore the habitat on Strawberry Island and East River Marsh using native plants.
As part of the Family Lake Exploration program your family can sail Lake Erie aboard the Spirit of Buffalo. Your entire family, including children six-years and older, can join Buffalo Urban Outdoor Education on this two-hour boat ride aboard a floating classroom. Sailors will have the opportunity to check out the lake tank, capture plankton, explore in the microscope lab and steer along Western New York’s historic waterfront.
With 90 percent of the United States surface fresh water supply and 20 percent of the Earth’s supply contained in the Great Lakes, how can you not enjoy this natural resource and learn a little something along the way this summer?