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Invasive species to be cleared at Times Beach

WBFO News by photo Mike Desmond

For decades, there has been a bird sanctuary on the waterfront, not far from the Coast Guard Station, built on a diked disposal area for material dredged decades ago from the harbor and the Buffalo River.

For area birders, Times Beach has been a mecca, constantly visited to see birds which migrate through and those which hang around. There is a network of elevated wooden paths to help people move around.

There are also serious problems with invasive species which are hurting the plants which feed the birds. Now, the Army Corps of Engineers is putting up $500,000 for a major cleanup.

Project Manager Craig Forgette says there is a lot of work planned.

"A combination of mowing to get rid of the phragmites, spraying to get rid of most of that right now," Forgette said.

"We're doing spot spraying for wherever those invasives pop up and we'll try to take care of those in those locations. And, then in about the second year, we'll go through and plant some more native species so they take over and have a chance to establish themselves."

North Buffalo Eagle Scout Cameron Smith earned his Eagle for a major cleanup in some areas of Times Beach. 

Credit WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond
North Buffalo Eagle Scout Cameron Smith earned his Eagle for a major cleanup in some areas of Times Beach

Times Beach is that area along the Outer Harbor with large trees which have grown up over the decades flanking waterways used by birds.

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.