© 2022 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
LISTEN ON DEMAND: THIS AMERICAN LIFE tribute to the 10 killed in the Tops Market shootings.

Shrinking island gets a makeover

by ANGELICA A. MORRISON  / Strawberry Island wetland restoration project in the Niagara River.
by ANGELICA A. MORRISON / Strawberry Island wetland restoration project in the Niagara River.

A small island in the Niagara River has received a makeover, thanks to the New York State Power Authority and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.Angelica A. Morrison reports.

On Monday, they announced the completion of a $4.3 million project to restore habitat and prevent erosion on Strawberry Island. That’s good news for wildlife on the island, including the American Bald Eagle, osprey and blue heron.

The island, which lies south of Niagara Falls, is a sand and gravel deposit that formed from natural and geologic forces thousands of years ago.  DEC biologist Tim DePriest, says at one point it was about 100 acres, but now it’s around eight.

Over the years, its size has been changed by industry.

“When they were digging the Erie Canal, they brought a lot of dredged soil out there and it actually increased in size and then it dramatically decreased in size when they started taking the material back out and started mining the gravel and sand," DePriest said.

Related: Niagara River is path to freedom for slaves, refugees

The island also has a colorful history. It was used as a staging area by British troops during the War of 1812, later held a hotel, and then became a fishing spot for Theodore Roosevelt and Grover Cleveland. 

The Strawberry Island project is one of eight aimed at revitalizing wetlands in the Niagara River, which runs from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. Together, the projects total about $13 million.

Copyright 2017 Great Lakes Today

Angelica A. Morrison
Angelica A. Morrison is a multimedia journalist with over a decade of experience in the field.
Related Content