2010 HOW Great Lakes Restoration Conference

Buffalo, New York
Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Healing Our Waters® - 6th Annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference

Field Trip Descriptions

  1. First Winds - Steel Winds

Built on a former Bethlehem Steel industrial site on the U.S. shore of Lake Erie, Steel Wind's eight state-of-the-art 2.5 megawatt Clipper Liberty wind turbines have the ability to generate over 50 million kilowatt hours of electric energy each year--enough to power about 9,000 New York homes--without the pollution associated with traditional energy sources. It is the goal of Steel Winds to work with the community to build a stronger, more independent energy future. Steel Wind is helping New York State meet its future goal of 25% renewable energy sources by 2013. Tim Ryan from Apex Wind Energy, Inc. will conduct the tour.


Tifft Nature Preserve

            The Tifft Nature Preserve is a 264-acre nature preserve located adjacent to the Buffalo River and the Lake Erie lowland marshes. Owned by the City of Buffalo, Tifft is operated by the Buffalo Museum of Science under a long term contract. This successful American example of urban land reclaimed after decades of environmental misuse is considered the museum’s “living collection.”. The tour will consist of a short presentation with maps and historical photos highlighting past uses of the land including, but not limited to a transshipment port and city dump.  Following the presentation, the group will take a guided tour of the preserve showcasing current efforts to control invasive species such as Phragmites, Japanese knotweed, and woody plants such as honeysuckle and buckthorn.  Forest regeneration efforts will also be highlighted.  


Times Beach

Times Beach has a complicated social and environmental history. Time Beach has become an important and rare lakefront habitat for a number of animals and plants, including birds. It is one of the largest more or less "wild" sites remaining on the great lakes. Of course it is a built site, but it has somewhat reclaimed itself as a wildlife habitat. That it is in downtown Buffalo is astounding and very important. Making this site more accessible to bird watchers, nature enthusiasts, citizens, and others makes economic and political sense. It is also a site of tremendous scientific importance and is one of the most studied Great Lakes habitats. Both Times Beach and Tifft Nature Preserve are part of the Niagara River Corridor Globally Significant Important Bird Area.


2. Buffalo River Canoe & Kayak Trip

Paddle the waters of the Buffalo River and explore the beautiful views and wildlife of this urban waterway with Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper. Learn about the Buffalo River’s legacy of pollution, the impact of combined sewer overflows, and Riverkeeper’s efforts to restore the region’s Great Lakes water. Limit 25


3. Niagara Falls

For generations, the majestic beauty and humbling power of Niagara Falls State Park has fostered a sense of awe and wonder. Through the years, countless people have enjoyed the sparkling scenery of the falls, making the Niagara Falls a favorite. Spend the afternoon exploring Niagara Falls, take a trolley ride around Goats Island, explore the Cave of the Winds, and experience the Maid of the Mist, a classic must do for all that visit.

Goat Island is a tiny non populated island in northern New York, at the SW tip of Niagara County. It is situated in the middle of Niagara Falls on the Niagara River, between Bridal Veil Falls and Horseshoe Falls. On either side of the island, the Niagara River divides into two large streams which are responsible for the Canadian and American Versions of the Niagara Falls. From anywhere on Goat Island, one can easily view of the American and Horseshoe Falls. At the bottom of the Falls, one can hear the combined thunder and power of the ravaging water which races towards Lake Ontario.

The Maid of the Mist is a historic journey on a modified Double Decker boat that takes you so close to the Falls that one can literally touch the raging waters. Even since the Falls became a tourist attraction, the Maid of the Mist has become a traditional boat ride. One should not leave Niagara Falls without taking this incredible boat ride. The ride reveals the might of the massive waterfalls, the roar of the water tumbling over the edge and the deafening sound.



Contact Information

  • Martha Borie Wood
    Phone: 312-263-0111 x4,
    Email: martha@healthylakes.org

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