The “Buffalo Blueway” will create and enhance a network of public access points along the region’s waterways. This waterborne “trail” will strategically connect to Buffalo-area cultural institutions, tourist attractions, centers of commerce and employment, greenway and bicycle corridors, and other unique locations and experiences. The Blueway will serve 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 will add wayfinding and public art installations to guide and attract visitors. The Blueway will be promoted through a coordinated marketing program, a Blueway Trail guide, interactive map and other digital applications.
The State’s $10 million investment through the Buffalo Billion II is being used by Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper for the planning, design, and construction of at least 10 public access points. Sites could include: RiverWorks, Heritage Discovery Center (former Buffalo Color site), NYSDEC Ohio Street Boat Launch, LaSalle Park, Wilkeson Pointe, Mutual Riverfront Park, Seneca Bluffs, Red Jacket Park, Harlem Road Boat Launch, Union Ship Canal, Mungovan Park, Canalside, and the Erie Basin Marina.
The planning phase of this project is underway, with some construction at project sites already begun and additional construction activities expected to begin in spring 2019. 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.