Ecological Restoration

Ecological Restoration (HM1ROA)

Location: Buffalo, NY 14203 Erie County
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Country: United States of America
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N 42° 50.18', W 78° 50.801'

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Enhanced aquatic habitat and eco-system stabilization

Ship Canal Commons is a unique waterfront park that was envisioned by the City of Buffalo, County of Erie, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and Buffalo Urban Development Corporation to be a distinct ecological restoration and environmental remediation project. The goal was to create an urban waterfront green space that would support fish, plants, and wildlife on a natural setting while encouraging passive recreation use. NYSDEC and the engineering firm Arcadis combined to create an aquatic habitat plan that made the ecological restoration a reality. The plan includes a canal berm which supports the northern and eastern canal walls, while creating a shallow water fish habitat and tiered benches for aquatic plant species. Underwater fish habitat structures have been installed, including submersed willow trees. Benthic substance materials were placed on the canal floor to enhance the growth of aquatic micro-organisms and stabilize the eco-system. A unique component of the environmental remediation was the placement of geotextile fabric over the sediment on the canal floor. This was accomplished by sewing a piece of fabric together, 2000 feet long by 200 feet wide, and then sinking it to the bottom of the canal. One foot of clean stone was then deposited on top of the fabric over the entire bottom. In the northeastern corner of the canal, where the canal wall had deteriorated down to the wood cribbing, an embayment area (or wetland) has been created that replicates the ecological condition that existed throughout the Union Ship Canal area before the industrial era. Twenty-six (26) different native, aquatic plant species were placed in the canal to support fish and other aquatic organisms, including Pickerel Weed, Yellow Pond Lily, Swamp Loosestrife, Arrowhead, and Sago Pondweed. Fish that are frequent to the canal include smallmouth bass and perch. While the Union Ship canal is not a natural body of water, it has become an important location for aquatic habitat, given its direct link to Lake Erie. The ecological restoration components enhance the transformation of the canal toward a more natural waterway, which has taken place since the end of its commercial activity in the late 1980s. Photo key: 1) Tug pulling geotextile fabric cover. 2) Aquatic Habitat Plan and Details. 3) Installation of Benthic Subtrate material (the sediment layer where an organism grows or is attached. 4) Canal clean-up.
Placed ByNew York State Department of State
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, April 14th, 2016 at 5:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17T E 675981 N 4744889
Decimal Degrees42.83633333, -78.84668333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 50.18', W 78° 50.801'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 50' 10.8" N, 78° 50' 48.06" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)716
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1775 Fuhrmann Boulevard, Buffalo NY 14203, US
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