Date of Submission:
The South Buffalo Brownfield Opportunity Area is more than 1900 acres of land that were once industrial but is now under development. The project is to be used for commercial, recreational and residential purposes.
Some of the stakeholders include the people of Buffalo, the city planners, the Department of Environmental Conservation, the governor through the Department of State. All the stakeholders have taken a keen interest in the redevelopment of the Brownfield though they may not share the same reasons. The local community wants a clean and safe environment with open space; the government is interested in job creation and economic development while the environmentalists are concerned with preserving the environment and maintaining the natural habitat.
The city planners and other consultants prepared the master plan for the study areas, initiated new projects and sought the community’s opinion regarding the redevelopment. The governor is interested in the redevelopment of the Brownfield and has even allocated grants for various projects. He believes that the Brownfield can be remedied and developed and this will create many opportunities for the people. He noted that the programs provide the needed resources to create economic opportunities by generating projects, which would provide job opportunities and revenue for the state (gov_wire, 2009).
Environmentalists have also started work on various projects and they have completed some projects. The state and federal agencies have collaborated with various non-governmental and non-profit agencies to reclaim some of the land. The Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper has been instrumental in reclaiming and restoring the Buffalo River, which was full of wastewater. The organization collaborated with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers to maintain the river. Funds from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and the Great Lakes Legacy Act (GLLA) were used in cleaning up the river.
The environmental agencies are also concerned with anything that may be contaminating the river. They undertook an assessment and they established that waste from former industries was causing contamination and this caused health complications. They singled out the former Republic Steel and Donner Hanna Coke properties, which extended from the Buffalo River. They cleaned up the site and this ensured that the river was free from contaminated water and other waste products. Environmental agencies are not only concerned with cleaning up the river and getting rid of the contaminants. They are also using this opportunity to restore the fish and wildlife habitats that depend on the river’s ecosystem. Projects include underwater fish habitat improvements, native tree and shrub plantings, naturalizing hardened stream banks and restoring emergent wetland vegetation among others (Riverkeeper, 2010).
Brownfield Stakeholders Map
The Stakeholders Map created can be found at the link below:
Reflection on Stakeholder’s Geographies
Most of the stakeholders are located in the Central Business District area of South Buffalo. This is approximately 2.4 miles southeast of the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper that is the central site for reclaiming and restoring the Buffalo River. This would ultimately eradicate it of the wastewater brought by years of industrialization.
There is little difference in physical distance from the brownfield site among the stakeholder’s identified. Regardless of the physical distance, the stakeholders are interested in having a clean and safe environment. The federal and state agencies are concerned with the people’s welfare and they are willing to support the various development programs. Governor Paterson was not only concerned with the economic opportunities that the South Buffalo Brownfield Opportunity Area presented. He noted that the Buffalo project was an example that people can live in healthy, vibrant and livable communities.
The mayor of Buffalo, Byron Brown also noted that urban areas needed to be revitalized and made productive. He observed that there was need to reuse and reclaim contaminated urban lands instead of developing agricultural and natural areas (New York State Department of State, 2009). As part of the stakeholders, the local community is influenced by the physical distance. However, many government leaders are concerned with the preservation and conservation of the environment regardless of their location.
gov_wire (2009). Governor Paterson announces $ 10 million in Brownfield Opportunity Areas program grant. Retrieved 17 February 2011, from http://www.r8ny.com/node/148692
New York State Department of State (2009). Buffalo chosen as one of three “spotlight communities” event is part of governor’s Earth Day meetings. Retrieved 17 February 2011, from http://readme.readmedia.com/NY-Secretary-of-State-and-Mayor-Brown-Announce-Brownfields-Revitalization-Initiative-for-South-Buffalo/561979
Riverkeeper (2010). Planned projects will revitalize Buffalo River corridor. Retrieved 17 February 2011, from http://bnriverkeeper.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/Fact-Sheet-2-Projects-to-Revitalize-Buffalo-River.pdf
Vazquez, C. L. (2009). Brownfield Opportunity Areas Program. Retrieved 17 February 2011, from http://www.nyswaterfronts.com/downloads/PDFs/Progress_Report_2009.pdf