statue of fish on a base of rocks

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is looking at ways to stop grass carp from spawning in the Sandusky River near Fremont, Ohio, and nearly 3,700 miles of rivers and tributaries connected to Lake Erie where they damage habitats, increase erosion, and threaten the economy.

The USACE Buffalo District, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, and Ohio Department of Natural Resources are sharing information about the project and different barriers that could be used to stop grass carp.

To minimize or eliminate the impact on native fish species in the river and not disrupt daily life for the people of Fremont, the barriers being considered are behavioral-only.

Read more about the project here.

Detailed scoping information is available for public comment through Dec. 11.

researchers on beach with equipment

The team will support navigation, flood risk management, water resources management, sediment management, and military engineering projects.

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) has tasked the joint venture of Taylor Engineering and Woolpert with providing research and development services for its Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL). The $49 million, single-award task order contract will support CHL projects that advance navigation, flood risk management, water resources management, sediment management, and military engineering.

ERDC is the primary scientific research and development organization for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and oversees seven research laboratories across the U.S. Located in Vicksburg, CHL is responsible for the discovery, development, and delivery of coastal, estuarine, and hydraulic water resources research in both the Civil Works Program and military domains.

Woolpert Vice President Eric Dillinger said that the JV leadership team has extensive experience managing projects for CHL, ERDC, and USACE. This team includes Woolpert Director of Advisory Services Jeff Lillycrop, a former ERDC technical director with 33 years of experience serving CHL, and Taylor Engineering President Jim Marino, a former USACE officer with over 20 years of USACE experience, including three and a half years leading the military research program at the Coastal Engineering Research Center before it was consolidated into CHL. Marino is the managing partner for the JV.

“The Taylor-Woolpert joint venture represents decades of focused and complementary expertise coming together,” Dillinger said. “This contract will be led by a team intimately familiar with and fully capable of meeting the complex research needs of the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory.” 

Taylor Engineering Vice President Christopher Bender said this is the first contract executed under Taylor and Woolpert’s new Mentor-Protégé Program agreement, which was approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration last year.

“Taylor and Woolpert are currently working as professional partners on multiple projects across a variety of service lines,” Bender said. “We look forward to this next chapter working alongside Woolpert and providing a truly world-class team of engineers and researchers for ERDC and its missions.”

Global research and infrastructure advisory firms are serving as subconsultants for this contract, which is now underway. Those firms include Applied Research Associates and Moffatt & Nichol, as well as Alden Labs, Desert Research Institute, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Jackson State University.

About Taylor Engineering Inc.

Since 1983, Taylor Engineering Inc. has provided leading-edge solutions to challenges in the water environment. The company focuses its attention on water-related engineering, planning, management, and environmental challenges with emphasis on coastal regions for public, private, and government clients. A Federal Small Business and a Jacksonville Business Journal’s 2022 and 2023 Best Places to Work, Taylor Engineering has over 50 employees with three offices. Taylor Engineering’s six service groups, Coastal Engineering, Coastal Planning, Dredging and Navigation, Environmental, Water Resources, and Waterfront Engineering, along with our Coastal and Marine Geosciences Laboratory, deliver leading-edge solutions in the water environment. For more information, visit

About Woolpert

Woolpert is the premier architecture, engineering, geospatial (AEG), and strategic consulting firm, with a vision to become one of the best companies in the world. We innovate within and across markets to effectively serve public, private, and government clients worldwide. Woolpert is a Global Top 100 Geospatial Company, a Top 100 ENR Global Design firm, has earned seven Great Place to Work certifications, and actively nurtures a culture of growth, inclusion, diversity, and respect. Founded in 1911 in Dayton, Ohio, Woolpert has been America’s fastest-growing AEG firm since 2015. Woolpert has over 2,000 employees and more than 60 offices on five continents. For more information, visit

engineers viewing floodway project

In the heart of Dallas, Texas, stands a testament to flood risk management, public safety, partnership, and engineering excellence- the Dallas Floodway project. The Flood Risk Management project recently reached a milestone with the substantial completion of the West Levee 277k crest raise and side slope flattening features of work.

As with any complex, multi-year civil works construction project, partnership plays a pivotal role in project success. For the Dallas Floodway, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has partnered with the City of Dallas as the non-federal sponsor as well as other Federal, State, and Local agencies.

A levee is defined as a man-made structure, usually an earthen embankment, designed and constructed in accordance with sound engineering practices to contain, control, or divert the flow of water to reduce risk from temporary flooding. While levees can help reduce the risk of flooding, it is important to remember that they do not eliminate the risk. As with any manmade structure, routine and reoccurring maintenance is important. The City of Dallas maintains the responsibility of ensuring the levees retain their effectiveness through compliance with operations and maintenance activities.

The funding for these initiatives was allocated through the Supplemental Appropriation in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.

engineers viewing floodway project
From the vantage point of the Dallas levee access road, Aaron Philips, USACE Construction Project Coordinator, right, overlooks 277k levee construction area with a with a construction company representative during final inspection. (USACE photo by Audrey Gossett)

"Flood protection is at the heart of this project, aiming to keep the surrounding communities and businesses from flooding. We aim to fulfill the Corps mission of keeping people safe," said Aaron Philips, USACE Construction Project Coordinator at the Dallas Floodways Resident Office.

Spanning along the Trinity River, the project encompasses a substantial area, reaching from the abandoned Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe trestle to the confluence of the West and Elm Forks, and further upstream along the West Fork for about 2.2 miles, as well as approximately four miles along the Elm Fork.

The construction phase, while in its beginning stages, consists of over seven different features: the AT&SF Bridge Modification (completed in February 2021), 277K Levee Raise and Side Slope Flattening, construction of the Trinity Portland Pump Station, construction of the Charlie Pump Station, replacement of the Delta Pump Station, construction and upgrade to the Hampton Pump Station and improvements to the Nobles Branch Sump.

"Currently, the 277k levee raise, the construction of the Charlie pump station, and the Trinity Portland pump station just scratch the surface of the seven features planned," said Mark Hermann, USACE Program Manager.

Named the "277K levee raise and side slope flattening”, the $56 million project's moniker stems from the levee's elevation intended to sustain 277,000 cubic feet per second of water flow through the floodway. This amount of flow would be the equivalent of three Olympic sized swimming pools releasing their water in an instant.

The project involves raising the current East and West levees over a 23-mile stretch to the 277k cubic feet per second water surface elevation as well as flattening the riverside slopes. The 277k levee raise involves using earthen material to raise the low areas of the current levees to the height consistent with the 277k flow within the floodway. The side slope flattening consists of flattening the slopes of the levee to make them less steep. This will increase the overall stability of the levees and decrease operations and maintenance costs once completed.

On August 2, 2023, after years of planning and a year and a half of construction, the project reached a milestone by completing all improvements to the West levee along the Trinity River in Dallas.

A joint inspection of the 277k Levee Raise and Side Slope Flattening for the west levee was conducted by the USACE and the construction company, transferring over the responsibility of operation and maintenance to the City of Dallas.

"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers number one priority is public safety, and so with the 277k levee raise and pump station improvements across the Dallas Floodway program, we are delivering that for the City of Dallas," said Stanley Young, USACE Resident Engineer.

The overall Dallas Floodway project, with its commitment, collaboration, and forward-thinking approach, edges closer to its goal of delivering a strong and capable levee system for the City of Dallas. Its dedication stands as a testament to mitigating flood risks to the community from potential natural disasters while assuring their well-being remains paramount.

About the Dallas Floodway: Find out what the Corps of Engineers is doing in the Dallas Floodway by visiting our dedicated website here:

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construction equipment in woods near a lake

Nov. 15 marks the second anniversary of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, legislation that delivered $17.1 billion in supplemental funding to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers across the enterprise. Of that total investment, approximately $1.7 billion was appropriated to the North Atlantic Division to support investigations (studies), construction, the Continuing Authorities Program, and operations and maintenance.

"The transformative investments of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will continue to meet the President’s priorities of strengthening supply chains to bring down costs for working families, protecting American economic competitiveness, combatting climate change, and promoting equity by prioritizing underserved communities," said Michael L. Connor, assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works.

At the division, regional management for BIL projects is handled through its Civil Works directorate and specifically by the lead BIL project manager, Ronald Pinzon, who came to the division a year ago after working at the USACE New York District.

“The highlight of working on BIL, especially coming from the district where I worked for about 20 years, is taking all of the experience from other jobs I’ve had and applying it here directly with headquarters regionally, as well as nationally,” said Pinzon. “It’s a whole lot of learning, but it’s also solving issues and barriers that the districts are coming across, and I get to help them with their execution by addressing those challenges.”

Presently, approximately $240 million of NAD’s BIL allocation has been executed. Some project highlights across the region over the past couple of years since BIL was passed include:

Baltimore District – Mid-Chesapeake Bay Island Ecosystem Restoration

The Mid-Chesapeake Bay Island Ecosystem Restoration project is in the vicinity of the James and Barren Islands in western Dorchester County, Maryland. It focuses on restoring and expanding island habitat to provide hundreds of acres of wetland and terrestrial habitat for fish, shellfish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals through the beneficial use of dredged material. The project implements a long-term strategy for providing viable placement alternatives to meet the dredging needs of the Port of Baltimore while maximizing the use of dredged materials as a beneficial resource. The project consists of constructing environmental restoration projects at both James and Barren Islands to restore 2,144 acres of remote island habitat (2,072 acres at James Island and 72 acres at Barren Island). BIL appropriated $84 million in construction funds, and the project partnership agreement for the construction phase of the overall $4 billion project was executed Aug. 23, 2022.

New England District – Buffumville Lake

At Buffumville Lake in Charlton, Massachusetts, BIL provided more than $530,000 for Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant parking lot and access improvements. From October 2022 to May 2023 work included removing a shelter, repaving the emergency access road to the beach, increasing ADA parking spaces from three to 10, and building a new paved walkway leading to an ADA-compliant ramp with handrails to the restrooms. The Buffumville team identified the need for this work in 2017 and BIL allowed it to come to fruition. The prior lack of handicapped access was a frequent comment by visitors before the improvements, and according to the site’s park rangers, the team has received many positive comments since the area reopened. 

New York District – Waterways

The New York District is leveraging an infusion of $126 million in BIL funding to undertake crucial maintenance and enhancement projects across several vital waterways, including Barnegat Inlet in New Jersey, New York Harbor and the extensive network of channels serving the bustling Port of Newark and Elizabeth in New Jersey. This strategic allocation of funds is poised to fortify the infrastructure that underpins an estimated $15.7 billion in economic activity, both regionally and nationally. The investment will address sediment accumulation, navigational safety, and ecological sustainability, ensuring the shipping and recreational channels remain accessible and reliable. These improvements are expected not only to sustain but to potentially boost economic vitality by optimizing the efficiency of commercial vessel transit and safeguarding the region's reputation as a premier maritime hub.

Norfolk District – Norfolk Harbor

BIL appropriated $141.7 million in construction funds for the Norfolk Harbor and Channels, 55-ft. Channel Deepening project in Virginia. On Oct. 16, Norfolk District opened bids on USACE’s third construction contract supporting the project. The milestone is significant, because with this path to contract award, the 55-ft. channel project could be ready for use by deeply laden containerships and coal ships as early as the spring of 2025. The contract package also has options for the beneficial use of beach sand at two locations in the city of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Earlier contracts using BIL funds were awarded in August 2022 for the Channel to Newport News and Norfolk Harbor Inners Channels and in April 2023 for Phase 1 of the Atlantic Ocean Channel. Other portions of the project in Thimble Shoal Channel are nearly completed by the Virginia Port Authority to fulfill their share of the overall project cost of approximately $472 million.

Philadelphia District – Inland Waterway from Rehoboth Bay to Delaware Bay

The Inland Waterway from Rehoboth Bay to Delaware Bay project (also known as Lewes & Rehoboth Canal in Sussex County, Delaware) received BIL funding enabling the dredging of the federal channel of the canal for the first time in many years. USACE’s contractor began work in October 2023. The dredged material from the canal will be placed in a facility in Lewes, Delaware, and the contractor will be removing approximately 40,000 cubic yards of sediment at a cost of $1.6 million. The waterway is used by commercial and recreational fishing charter boats, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Delaware Bay and River Cooperative (DBRC). BIL appropriated $3.78 million for Operations and Maintenance funding.

“Throughout the North Atlantic Division, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law brings solid investment to a variety of projects that benefit the people of the region in terms of safety, quality of life and disaster mitigation, to name just a few important aspects,” said Col. John P. Lloyd, NAD commander and division engineer. “This supplemental funding has enhanced USACE’s ability to deliver the program and meet the needs of our state and local partners on projects that will make a difference at the community level.”

USACE’s overall fiscal year spend plans and policy guidance for implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are listed on the headquarters website at:


TechFlow, a 100% employee-owned forward-thinking energy, mobility, logistics, and digital solutions company, today announced it has received a success memorandum from the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) for its self-sustaining electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure solution. This distinction marks the DIU’s first recognition for an EV charging solution. 

The success memorandum allows all Department of Defense (DoD) Services – including the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard – along with Civilian Agencies to enter production agreements with TechFlow, enabling the immediate installation of EV charging infrastructure across more than 800 facilities nationwide. 

TechFlow’s EV charging infrastructure solution represents the pinnacle of adaptability and sustainability in EV charging. Adeptly designed for versatility, TechFlow’s solution accommodates a comprehensive suite of applications, including Charging-as-a-Service (CaaS), Government-owned Government-operated (GOGO), Government-owned Company-operated (GOCO), Company-owned Company-operated (COCO), and multiple tenancy models. Compatible with a wide spectrum of vehicles, TechFlow’s solution supports both Government Owned Vehicles (GOVs) and Personally Owned Vehicles (POVs), providing each access to utilize the same Level 2 and Level 3 fast charging assets, thus reducing infrastructure costs. 

Beyond mere self-sufficiency, TechFlow’s solution seamlessly integrates cutting-edge energy storage systems, microgrid technologies, and a diverse array of energy sources, ensuring the delivery of robust and efficient EV charging services that are responsive to the rapidly evolving energy landscape.  

TechFlow’s year-long collaboration with the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) has culminated in developing and successfully deploying advanced EV charging infrastructure prototypes at multiple Department of Defense (DoD) sites across the United States, including Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy bases. The DIU thoroughly evaluated TechFlow’s EV charging infrastructure and associated cloud software, confirming TechFlow’s exceptional service delivery with over 99% uptime.  

“The recognition from the DIU is a testament to TechFlow’s commitment to engineering excellence and versatility in our EV charging solutions,” said TechFlow Vice President of Energy and Mobility Solutions Michael Genseal. “Our approach is customer-centric, ensuring that our infrastructure not only meets the diverse needs of the Department of Defense but also paves the way for adaptable installations across various agencies, enabling reliability and efficiency in their shift to clean energy.” 

“We are immensely proud to be among the first recipients of a success memorandum from DIU’s Energy Portfolio,” said TechFlow President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Carter. “This recognition underscores TechFlow’s pivotal role as a critical partner in delivering innovative solutions for our government customers, and this significant achievement is a testament to our team’s dedication and expertise.” 

About TechFlow  

TechFlow Inc. is a 100% employee-owned company with nearly three decades of success defined by innovation, agility, and proactiveness. As employee-owners, we balance technology and human factors to determine the best outcome for our customers’ missions. The company supports government and commercial sectors as system developers, integrators, and optimizers in mission-critical markets: digital, platform, base management/logistics, and energy and mobility solutions. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, with offices throughout the United States, TechFlow delivers leading-edge solutions for customers in mission-critical markets. TechFlow. Always Ahead. For more, visit  

people standing in field

In September, the St. Paul District conducted an on-site training event with federal and state partners to look at past and ongoing island projects to determine the best path forward for restoration projects as part of the Upper Mississippi River Restoration program, or UMRR.

Participants included representatives from the Corps and agency representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as well as from the Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa departments of natural resources.

“Today is a training exercise,” said Scott Baker, Winona resident engineer. “We are seeing some typical projects to talk about lessons learned, what worked well and what didn’t work well, so that knowledge can be incorporated into future projects.”

The team of agency representatives visited Conway Lake and Harpers Slough restoration projects, in Pool 9 of the Mississippi River, which were completed in 2022. The team also visited McGregor Lake Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project, an active construction project.
“These exercises are important because we’re getting more money for island projects, and we have more projects now in various phases than we’ve ever had before,” said Baker.

Baker explained that these projects are important for wildlife.
“The river is losing habitat at a very fast rate. The islands are disappearing, which had lead to increasingly turbulent water and light can’t get through to help the vegetation grow. That habitat and vegetation is particularly important for migratory birds,” said Baker.

UMRR started in 1986 when environmentalists filed a lawsuit when Lock and Dam 27 was built, wanting environmental work done on the river. The compromise started the Environmental Management Program, which would become UMRR. It was authorized for $200 million over a 20-year period and was reauthorized in 2006.

UMRR ensures the coordinated development and enhancement of the Upper Mississippi River system with a primary emphasis on habitat restoration projects and resource monitoring. In the 36-year history of the program, more than 55 habitat projects benefiting approximately 100,000 acres from Minneapolis to St. Louis, have been completed.

“I enjoy these projects in particular because you can see tangible results for future generations to enjoy the wildlife,” said Baker.

An environmental contractor checks granular activated carbon and resin tanks at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, that are part of a $27.6 million Air Force Civil Engineer Center-led soil washing project that uses innovative technology to separate soil fractions and reduce the concentrations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in soil. (Courtesy Photo by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District)

The Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center recently launched a large-scale soil washing effort to remove per- and polyfluoroalkyl, or PFAS, pollutants at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.  

The $27.6 million military construction-funded project is led by a joint team from the Air Force Civil Engineer Center and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District, and supports the Department of the Air Force’s effort to address PFAS at the close air support training installation. AFCEC is a primary subordinate unit of AFIMSC.  

Soil washing is a closed-loop, water-based process that separates soil fractions and captures PFAS substances in granular activated carbon and ion-exchange resin filters, said Guy Warren, Project Manager at USACE’s Alaska District who manages onsite project execution.  

This remediation technology has been in the market for the past three decades, but the partners have expanded its applicability to treat highly challenging fluorinated chemicals.

This is the coarse sands fraction after it has been washed and dewatered by the sand screws and shaker at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The Air Force Civil Engineer Center recently launched a $27.6 million soil washing project to separate soil fractions and reduce the concentrations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in soil. (U.S. Air Force photo by Nicole Drenning)
This is the coarse sands fraction after it has been washed and dewatered by the sand screws and shaker at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The Air Force Civil Engineer Center recently launched a $27.6 million soil washing project to separate soil fractions and reduce the concentrations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in soil. (U.S. Air Force photo by Nicole Drenning)

“This is the first-time soil washing has been used to treat PFAS-impacted soil,” said Michael Boese AFCEC Lead Restoration Project Manager at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. 

AFCEC awarded the contract through USACE in November 2022 to treat and dispose of 130,000 cubic yards of PFAS-impacted soil that had been excavated during a MILCON project to build infrastructure to house F-35A fighter squadrons.  

The cleanup effort began in August 2023 and is projected to be complete in summer 2025.  

“Both AFCEC and USACE teams bring deep technical, engineering and environmental knowledge and have played a key role in determining a viable and cost-effective technology to treat Eielson’s soil piles,” said Roy Willis, AFCEC Restoration Project Manager at JBER.

An environmental contractor holds coarse sands fraction after it has been washed and dewatered by the sand screws and shaker at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The Air Force Civil Engineer Center recently launched a $27.6 million soil washing project to separate soil fractions and reduce the concentrations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in soil. (U.S. Air Force photo by Nicole Drenning)
An environmental contractor holds coarse sands fraction after it has been washed and dewatered by the sand screws and shaker at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. (U.S. Air Force photo by Nicole Drenning)

Prior to selecting soil washing for the Eielson project, AFCEC environmental restoration experts participated in two PFAS pilot studies at Eielson AFB funded by the Department of Defense’s Environmental Security Technology Certification Program. The pilot program provided a site-specific comparison of the cost and performance for two viable technologies – soil washing and thermal desorption.  

Additionally, with the support of USACE, the Air Force conducted a similar soil washing study at Colorado’s Peterson AFB. 

Data obtained from soil washing pilot studies showed high success rates achieving more than 99% PFAS reduction in the coarse soil fraction in Colorado and approximately 70% in fine-grained soils at the Alaska installation.  

“We determined soil washing to be the most effective technology for the scale and scope of the Eielson project,” Willis said. “The team feels confident this technology will bring successful results.” 

Since the project’s kick-off, Eielson’s treatment plant is fully operational and approximately 1,500 cubic yards of soil have been processed. Due to the weather, the field season will resume in May and run through September when the operation is expected to be in full swing and treating 30 cubic yards of soil per hour. 

This is the coarse sands fraction after it has been washed and dewatered by the sand screws and shaker at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The Air Force Civil Engineer Center recently launched a $27.6 million soil washing project to separate soil fractions and reduce the concentrations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in soil. (U.S. Air Force photo by Nicole Drenning)
This is the coarse sands fraction after it has been washed and dewatered by the sand screws and shaker at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. (U.S. Air Force photo by Nicole Drenning)

“Once the soil has been cleaned and deemed safe with no PFAS detection or levels below the Alaska state standards, it can then be repurposed for other projects,” Boese said. “However, if there is detection, we will dispose it within PFAS guidance.” 

The restoration work follows the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation PFAS soil disposal standards.  

Since 2017, AFCEC’s environmental team has been coordinating project requirements with the state and federal regulatory agents ensuring the selected remediation technology is fully approved.  

Use of this technology at other Air Force sites will require a significant volume of impacted soil to make it cost-effective and similar soil type, Warren said. For example, PFAS soils with high clay content may not be suitable for this technology.  

“We are excited to see the effort is already providing results,” Boese said. “The efficacy of soil washing technology will produce cost and performance data that will help DAF and our regulatory partners program and approve future remediation projects.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District and Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) celebrated completion of the 2023 construction season’s work on a new wetland ecosystem being built in Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.

USACE and its contractor, Michigan-based Ryba Marine Construction Co., placed bedding stone across the mouth of the abandoned Shipping Slip 3, forming the first layer of a submerged breakwater to contain material dredged from the Buffalo River and placed in the slip to create the base of the new ecosystem.

“The Corps of Engineers is excited to share this season’s progress on the Outer Harbor wetland project with Western New York,” said Lt. Col. Colby Krug, commander of the USACE Buffalo District. “The positive impact this project will have on generations of people, plants, and wildlife across the community is something I’m proud of, especially as a Buffalo native.”

Water flows calmly in and out of an abandoned shipping slip next to the Wilkeson Pointe park and kayak launch on the Outer Harbor of Buffalo, N.Y., Oct. 13, 2023. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is building a new wetland ecosystem here using a stone breakwater and sediment dredged from the Buffalo River. (U.S. Army photo by Avery Schneider)

“This $14.8 million initiative is that latest component of a two-decade, more-than $200 million, coordinated, multi-agency effort to take Buffalo’s greatest natural asset, its Lake Erie shoreline, and convert it from an inaccessible post-industrial wasteland into an interconnected system of parks and urban natural habitat, the acreage of which is roughly equal to New York City’s Central Park,” said Congressman Brian Higgins. “I thank the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation under the direction of Governor Kathy Hochul, and the Buffalo District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the leadership of Lt. Col. Colby Krug for their leadership in advancing this important work.”

“It’s been exciting to watch the progress in creating Slip 3’s new wetland ecosystem,” said Mark Wendel, president of Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation. “Directly adjacent to Wilkeson Pointe, where an extensive, year-and-a-half long improvement project is starting this fall, the Slip 3 project will help renew key elements of the aquatic habitat that New York State and Governor Hochul recognize are crucial to a vibrant waterfront.”

Gabe Schmidbauer, a project engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District, speaks about a USACE project to fill in a former industrial slip at the Buffalo Outer Harbor, Buffalo, New York, Oct. 27, 2023. (U.S. Army photo by Ryan Campbell)

“Addressing legacy pollution from the Great Lakes and improving critical ecosystems is an investment in public health and our future,” said U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. “EPA is proud to work with the partners through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, to improve and restore aquatic habitat along Buffalo’s waterfront area. This work will benefit all of Buffalo’s communities and the natural world for generations to come.”

In partnership with ECHDC, the overall $14.8 million project aims to reverse coastal wetland degradation in the Niagara River system and across the Great Lakes. Decades of industrial development and hardening of shorelines has diminished fish nursery and spawning habitats in these areas.

A pile of loose stone sits in the Port of Buffalo, waiting to be moved to a job site where it will be used to construct a stone breakwater in Buffalo, N.Y., Oct. 13, 2023. (U.S. Army photo by Avery Schneider)

The project is being conducted in three phases – construction of the breakwater, placement of dredged material, and formation of aquatic and sub-aquatic habitat.

This season’s construction, which started in September and concluded on Oct. 19, included placement of 17,200 tons of bedding stone in Slip 3. The bedding stone is expected to displace silty sediment at the bottom of the slip and settle over the winter.

A crane and mechanical claw aboard a derrick boat place loose stone from a barge to construct a stone breakwater in Buffalo, N.Y., Oct. 13, 2023. (U.S. Army photo by Avery Schneider)

During the celebration, Krug, Higgins, Wendel, and USEPA Public Affairs Officer Mike Basile, along with members of the ECHDC Board of Directors, representatives of New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s office, New York State Assembly District 149, the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning, and the City of Buffalo Common Council contributed to the project’s current phase by ceremoniously tossing stones into the slip at the site of the breakwater.

USACE and Ryba Marine will resume construction in 2024, with placement of additional bedding stone, followed by 4.8 feet of underlayer stone and 7.2 feet of armor stone.

The completed breakwater will extend across the entire mouth of the slip, with a portion submerged to allow for connectivity to the Lake Erie and the increased health of the future wetlands. Construction of the breakwater (Phase 1) is expected to conclude in September 2024.

In the project’s second phase, approximately 285,000 cubic yards of sediment dredged from the Buffalo River over a six-year period (an estimated three cycles) will be placed in Slip 3 to create 6.7 acres of coastal wetland habitat. The first cycle of maintenance dredging used to contribute to the project is contracted to start in October 2024. The sediment is certified as clean by state and federal standards and approved for this beneficial use.

Mike Basile, public affairs officer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2, speaks about a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District, project to fill in a former industrial slip at the Buffalo Outer Harbor, Buffalo, New York, Oct. 27, 2023. (U.S. Army photo by Ryan Campbell)

In the project’s third phase, planting of native species will include submerged and emergent aquatic vegetation that can compete with invasive species and provide high-quality aquatic habitat for both aquatic species and migratory/resident bird species. The new habitat will also include gravel beds, rock piles, root wads, logs, and existing dock piles to provide maximum habitat complexity and structure.

Project information and safety signage will be installed along Fuhrman Boulevard outside Slip 3 and neighboring Wilkeson Pointe to keep the public informed and help ensure safety at the site. Hazard marker buoys will be placed to mark where the breakwater stone has been placed since the entirety of the breakwater will be submerged until underlayer stone is placed next season.

Plans for habitat creation at the Outer Harbor used lessons learned from previous partnership between USACE and the City of Buffalo in the first successful beneficial use project on the Great Lakes – restoring a wetland ecosystem at Unity Island. Slip 3 was identified by a multiagency committee as a habitat management opportunity in the Niagara River Area of Concern.

The feasibility study for this project was 100% federally funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). USACE and ECHDC executed a Project Partnership Agreement in January 2022 enabling the design and implementation phase, now underway. Design and implementation is cost-shared 65% Federal (USACE) and 35% Non-Federal (ECHDC with funding from the GLRI).

Based on the current USACE construction budget, the ECHDC total commitment over the course of the project will be $4,972,000 over a 12-year period. This funding is from the New York Power Authority, through relicensing agreements tied to the operation of the Niagara Power Project.

Renderings of the site are available at:

More information about the USACE Buffalo District is available online at:

The Buffalo District delivers world class engineering solutions to the Great Lakes Region, the Army and the Nation in order to ensure national security, environmental sustainability, water resource management, and emergency assistance during peace and war.

America's Engineers: The People, Programs, and Projects of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ® is published by American Conference & Event Media, LLC.

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