While enjoying a recent afternoon of boating, one BRO reader sent along a photo of what looked to be a man made island being constructed near Strawberry Island in the middle of the Niagara River. I confessed that I was not aware of the project that he happened upon, and figured that if anyone knew anything regarding the development that it would be Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper.
After reaching out to Riverkeeper’s Nicole Lipp, she in turn replied with the answer. It was Tim DePriest, Niagara River Habitat Specialist (New York Department of Environmental Conservation) who provided the following:
This is a Niagara River Habitat Improvement Project (HIP) funded by Greenway funds. It’s known as the Frog Island Habitat Restoration.
Frog Island Restoration: Creation of approximately five acres of diverse habitat conditions at the site of a former island in the Niagara River. The habitat will be created in a high-energy environment consisting of coarse (boulders, cobbles and gravel) and fine (muck, silt, clay and sand) substrate at variable depths that will support fish and wildlife. Planning and design began in 2007.
The following is from a Remedial Action Plan – Stage 2 Addendum - Niagara River Area of Concern January 2012. PDF from the DEC:
During the relicensing of the Niagara Power Project, the New York Power Authority agreed to complete eight habitat improvement projects, most of which are currently under way:
Strawberry Island Restoration
Frog Island Restoration
Motor Island Shoreline Protection
Beaver Island Wetland Restoration
Invasive Species Control – Buckhorn/Tifft Marshes
Osprey Nesting on the Niagara River
Common Tern Nesting (complete)
Installation of Fish Habitat/Attraction Structures (complete)