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Dredging pollution from the Buffalo River

Buffalo river at Canal side
WBFO News photo by Ashley Hassett
Buffalo river at Canal side

By Eileen Buckley & Ashley Hassett

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-982224.mp3

Buffalo, NY – A federal funded river restoration project will begin this week. The Buffalo Niagara River Partnership was announced Tuesday at Buffalo's Central Wharf.

Western New York Congressman Brian Higgins was among other leaders to announce the face-life to the Buffalo River.

"For too long we have trusted this great resource of generosity and we've taken its replenishments for granted and we always must be vigilant in everything we do," said Congressman Higgins.

The nearly $6 million restoration project is part of President Obama's plan to clean up the Great Lakes.

Water pollution will be removed from the Buffalo River. Don Zelazny is the Great Lakes Program Coordinator.

"This is an opportunity of our lifetime. We have to keep it clean once we complete this project, and I call on all of you to help us in that effort," said Zelazny.

Dredging of the river is set to begin to remove harmful pollution.

Buffalo Niagara River Senior Advisor Cameron Davis said pollutants will be brought to a compost site along the outer harbor.

"So the real benefit comes in getting this stuff out of the water once and for all so we can return the river so it is healthy again. The fish are safer to eat in the long run people can come down and use the river without worrying about their health," said Davis.

That's where it will dry up so it's no longer harmful to create a healthy river for fish and citizens.

Organizers said this is the first step of a multi-step river restoration project.