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Community-Driven River Restoration: Buffalo River Area of Concern, New York

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The Buffalo River “Area of Concern” is in the final stages of its 40+ year transformation from one of the most polluted rivers in the Great Lakes Basin to one that serves as a model of successful and community-driven urban river restoration. Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper has spearheaded a process that balances community goals, river ecosystem needs, and social, political and economic interests for the development and implementation of river restoration. The foundation of Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, (a 501(c)(3) volunteer-based organization) was built upon river stewardship, education and advocacy, and over the last 20 years has evolved into a key partner and funding vehicle for large-scale river remediation and habitat restoration. This paper describes the methodology and process Riverkeeper has implemented in order to secure the partners and millions of dollars in funding needed to address complex contamination and habitat restoration issues in an Urban River.
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Keywords: Area of Concern; Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper; Buffalo River; Great Lakes; community involvement; contaminated sediment; habitat restoration; stewardship; watershed

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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