Higgins: $10 million in federal funding for Times Beach Nature Preserve restoration

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Posted at 6:12 AM, Jan 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-20 06:24:56-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Times Beach Nature preserve in Buffalo's Outer Harbor is getting a major boost from the federal government to help restore the area.

Congressman Brian Higgins announced $10 million dollars in new federal funding provided through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Law will be invested in Times Beach Nature Preserve. The funding was included in a list of waterway and port infrastructure projects released by the White House that will be led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District.

“Once a dumping ground for contaminated Buffalo River sludge, today Times Beach is a vibrant 55-acre home for wildlife and a destination for visitors," Congressman Higgins said. "This funding will support work by the United States Army Corps Buffalo District to fortify the break wall at Times Beach, to help restore public access that was lost in storm damage two years ago, and to reduce the influence of that kind of damage from happening in the future. This funding builds on previous federal Great Lakes and Infrastructure investments that are transforming Buffalo’s waterfront and revitalizing the Western New York community.”

The Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District Commander says the money will in part go to repair a dike wall at Times Beach, which protects 45 acres of wetland habitat and a bird sanctuary that is home to more than 230 species. The preserve was closed in December due to severe wind storms.

The bipartisan infrastructure law will provide $14 billion this year alone for 500 water and port infrastructure projects nationwide through the Army Corps of Engineers that strengthen supply chains and protect the environment.

The $10 million for Times Beach provided through the Infrastructure Law is in addition to more than $32.1 million in federal funding included for Western New York in the Army Corps Civil Works budget for fiscal year 2022. Buffalo Harbor will receive $20,908,000, Black Rock and Tonawanda Harbors will see a combined $10,600,000 and $680,000 will go toward Dunkirk’s Harbor.