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Buffalo River dredging project continues

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

The dredges are coming again to the Buffalo River, as a ten-year, $100 million project to clean the river winds down.

The river is only one of the waterways projects which are continuing as the waterfront continues its swing from an industrial area to recreation, with some industry still going strong and some lake freighters still coming through and dodging kayaks, crew shells and sail boats.

Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper's Jill Jedlicka says a big project involves the river bank at RiverBend.

"We're actually restoring that shoreline. And, if you look at it now, you will really see the industrial past. There's straight walls and straight sheet pile that leads down to the river. That's not a natural or healthy shore line," Jedlicka explained.

"We're regrading area of that shore line to decrease the grade. We're going to be bringing in clean soils and compost and a variety of different native tree species."

That's a half-mile of river bank, so it will be a big project, adjacent to the massive Solar City project which is slated to eventually provide thousands of jobs building solar panels on the former site of the Republic Steel plant.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.