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Buffalo Outer Harbor

Thank you for your interest in Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. Visit this page often for information and news regarding the development of the Outer Harbor and the public planning process.

Inner and outer harbor Outer harbor.
Photos by: Joe Cascio  

The Outer Harbor Blueprint

On Wednesday, September 16, ECDHC released Blueprint: An Update on Planning for the Future of Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. This report, referred to as “The Outer Harbor Blueprint,” can be downloaded here.

We want to hear from you!

If you have ideas, questions or comments, please share them with our Buffalo Outer Harbor planning team. We will do our best to respond to questions/comments within 24-48. Email: OuterHarborInfo@esd.ny.gov

Outer Harbor Planning Process

Public input on the future of the Outer Harbor has been collected in various forms for decades. Most recently, this input included dozens of public meetings with perhaps several thousand attendees as part of, to name a few, the city’s Brownfield Opportunity Area, Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan, and Green Code planning efforts. These plans solicited and incorporated input from people all over the city and region, and that input in many ways laid the foundation for the more detailed and implementation-oriented Outer Harbor Blueprint.

The current and most recent planning process, however—the Outer Harbor Blueprint—began in September 2013, when Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority would transfer approximately 350 acres of largely open and underutilized land to ECHDC, whose mission and resources better positioned it to meet the challenge of enhancing and accelerating the land’s development. For more information on the Outer Harbor planning process, click here.

Photos of ECHDC Public Outreach Meetings for Buffalo Outer Harbor Blueprint

Reports and Documents:

Environmental Information

As has been documented in numerous public hearings and reports, the Outer Harbor is a Brownfield area and a remnant of waste disposal activities. However, this area is reusable under certain conditions for recreational, commercial and residential uses. The key issue is that the design of any future development must be done in such a way to prevent any exposure to contaminants, which has been accomplished at numerous brownfield sites around the country (and at portions of the Outer Harbor, such as Wilkeson Pointe already). The nature of such design requirements will depend on the specific land uses envisioned, which will determine the appropriate forms of any further environmental review and remediation necessary prior to their implementation.

On March 11, 2015, ECHDC Board of Directors Chairman Robert Gioia issued a letter explaining these issues in additional detail that is accessible below: Additionally, a number of environmental studies of the Outer Harbor have been completed over the past few decades. These studies are public documents and were generally commissioned by the previous landowner, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.

The most recent and comprehensive environmental study of the Outer Harbor was completed in 2012 and is available below:
  • Summary of Report – Limited Human Health Exposure Assessment for Portions of the Buffalo Outer Harbor (URS, 2012). Note: Exhibits to this report do not reflect the subsequent remediation at Wilkeson Pointe, as noted in a comment.

  • Full Report, Tables and Appendices (4,389 pages) – Limited Human Health Exposure Assessment for Portions of the Buffalo Outer Harbor (URS, 2012)

General Project Plan

Press Releases


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Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation
95 Perry Street, Suite 500 | Buffalo, NY 14203-3030 | 716-846-8200 (ph) | 716-846-8262 (fax)
For more information, contact us at: eriecanalharbor@esd.ny.gov

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