The future of Buffalo’s Outer Harbor

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Whether it’s kayaking, biking or just taking a stroll, summer heat draws people to Buffalo’s waterfront.

For the last 10 years Canalside has been booming, offering events and recreational fun for everyone.

Now, it’s time to expand Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation is looking at transforming more than 150 acres of land at the outer harbor. Project leaders say they hope to bring public access to areas like the First Buffalo River Marina, Wilkeson Pointe to Bell Slip and Terminal B.

“I just think that people want to enjoy these waterfront spaces. This is really an opportunity to hear from the public exactly what they want before we build the next great thing,” said

Steven Ranalli, ECHDC VP of Waterfront Development.

Residents say they envision a world class destination, improving seasonal recreation with bike trails and boat launching, however, most people say they also want to preserve nature as much as possible.

“I think they really need to put an emphasis on keeping it natural so people can enjoy nature, times beach, enjoy the water, it would be great if we could actually swim in the water,” said  Willie Schult, Buffalo resident.

Residents told News 4 they do not want to see any sort of housing at the city’s Outer Harbor or any new structures.

Project leaders gathered feedback from the community during an open house about the three projects Wednesday night. They say they will take the feedback to develop a clearer plan for the outer harbor.

Officials hope to have a finalized plan by early 2019.

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