$3.1 Million Awarded to Expand Public Access Around Historic Buffalo Lighthouse

Buffalo, NY – Congressman Brian Higgins yesterday announced $3.1 million in federal funding dedicated to a project that would create 20 acres of new parkland on land now occupied by the Buffalo station for the United States Coast Guard.  The funding was included in the appropriations bill approved by the House of Representatives and Senate and signed by the President in late December.

“This project will occur simultaneously with other initiatives that will completely transform the Outer Harbor.  In addition to progress on the Coast Guard site, next year alone we will see construction begin on a new waterfront parkway, completion of the greenbelt path and linear park, and an environmental review for a new bridge connection,” said Congressman Higgins, a member of the Coast Guard Subcommittee of the House of Representative Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Sector Buffalo currently occupies approximately 31 acres on the City of Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.  The present configuration of the base prevents public access to a significant portion of the City’s waterfront, including one of our community’s most historic landmarks, the Buffalo Lighthouse.  The Coast Guard has indicated that Sector Buffalo occupies a site that is too large for its needs.  In 2003 the Coast Guard drew up a preliminary plan to upgrade facilities – some of which are over 70 years old – and consolidate them in a way that would meet its operational needs and allow for future growth.  Preliminary engineering and design work will begin this year.

“The Coast Guard appreciates the interest Congressman Higgins has shown regarding Sector Buffalo and will continue to work with the Congressman’s office as this process moves forward,” said Angela Hirsch, Coast Guard spokesperson.

Sector Buffalo provides search and rescue, law enforcement, aids-to-navigation, recreational boating safety, marine environmental response, and ice operations services to the public.  Its area of responsibility includes Lake Erie from Lorain, Ohio to Buffalo, New York, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes, the Erie Canal, and the St. Lawrence Seaway to Massena, New York.

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