BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Awarded through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer and Congressman Brian Higgins announced more than $2.5 million in funding to help restore the Buffalo River.

In the announcement, Higgins took note of the Buffalo River’s concerning history, mentioning that it was listed as one of the EPA’s 43 “Areas of Concern” in the Great Lakes region in the 1980s.

“The Buffalo River was once so polluted it was set ablaze,” Higgins said.

The Buffalo River runs through South Buffalo and into Lake Erie. At one of its north ends, Lake Erie connects to the Niagara River, which leads to Lake Ontario. The Niagara River is also listed among the Great Lakes Areas of Concern.

According to Schumer, the funding announced Tuesday will be used to restore waterways and wildlife habitats.

“As the river has recovered from its polluted past it has become a popular site for recreation and relaxation, as well as increased business investment,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said.

Latest Local News

Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.