The Buffalo Blueway creates and enhances a network of public access points along Western New York’s waterways. This water trail system is strategically connected to Buffalo-area cultural institutions, tourist attractions, centers of commerce and employment, greenway and bicycle corridors, and other unique locations and experiences. The Blueway serves the needs and desires of paddlers, recreational watercraft, local anglers, tourists, and other waterfront activities, providing safe and equitable water access throughout the City of Buffalo and Erie County. Along with constructing new access points and enhancing existing sites, the project is adding wayfinding and artful markers to guide and attract visitors. The Blueway is promoted through a coordinated marketing program, including a website with interactive mapping and trip planning features, www.buffaloblueway.com; social media; and digital and billboard advertising.
The State’s $10 million investment through the Buffalo Billion II is being used by Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper to plan, design and construct new public access points, and enhance new water access points that strategically connect residents and visitors to Buffalo-area cultural institutions, tourist attractions, greenway and bicycle corridors, and other unique businesses and locations.
In 2019 major site enhancements were implemented at Buffalo RiverWorks, Wilkeson Pointe and Mutual Riverfront Park. The site enhancements include a massive public art mural at Buffalo RiverWorks, along with Blueway-specific metal markers and interpretive and safety signage at the three sites. Construction projects at NYSDEC’s Ohio Street Boat Launch and Heritage Discovery Center’s RiverBend are expected to be complete for the 2020/2021 water season.
The State funding has also leveraged additional investments through the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.
In his January 2017 State of the State Address, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced $10 million through the Buffalo Billion Phase II initiative in an effort to expand and enhance waterfront access. This investment – the Buffalo Blueway – connects a network of public access points located strategically near existing sites and attractions along the Lake Erie, Niagara River, and Buffalo River corridors, aimed at increasing recreation and tourism, and spurring private development.