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Preferred vision for Outer Harbor revealed

Project includes nearly 200 acres

BUFFALO, N.Y. — There are some big changes in the works to transform Buffalo's Outer Harbor. Thursday night, the public got its first look at what the state has in store for Buffalo’s Waterfront.

"I think people are going to be thrilled with the overall plan," Steve Ranalli from The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation said. "We've heard from a lot of people that what we've been doing out there maybe wasn't comprehensive enough. They really wanted a plan for the entire Outer Harbor." 

The plans call for five more miles of trails.

“When you land at the First Buffalo River Marina, you'll have a small beach area you can get off, you can go inside the grain elevator with an interpretive center, and you can kind of continue over to Wilkeson Pointe, and out through a really entirely restored naturalized ecosystem out there with overlooks, places you can get down and touch the water," said Ranalli.

"We like the public access to the water and all the native habitat planting," said Chris Murawski from Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper.

Doug and Robin Curtis think the plans should be more inclusive for their favorite sport.

"This is the one chance in a lifetime for us to embrace the Buffalo water and get into the water. We don't want to look at it. We want to get into it," said Doug Curtis.

They are avid windsurfers and say they've been to every one of these community meetings.

"All we want is a soft shoreline, so we can get in the water," Doug Curtis said. "Right now, Gallagher Beach is the only access into the water, but Gallagher Beach has become so popular, normally, you can't get a parking spot anymore."

You now have 30 days to do an online survey before the process moves forward and the ECHDC board votes on the plan. If approved, the environmental review phase would start, and construction could begin in six to nine months.

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