An Introduction from Donald K. Boswell
After decades of stalled efforts and missed opportunities, Buffalo’s historic waterfront is becoming the heart of a downtown renaissance. People are going to concerts, playing ice hockey, walking the Canalside boardwalk, and returning to the water in kayaks and tour boats. People are even touring and climbing Buffalo’s iconic grain elevators.
The first settlement at what is now the city of Buffalo was a small trading post along the water’s edge of Buffalo Creek in the 1790s. In the nearly 225 years since, water has framed the history and development of Buffalo. And water will play a vital role in shaping the region’s future. “Buffalo would not be here without the water,” says Robert Shibley, dean of the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning.
There have been periods when Buffalo and Western New York have flourished and periods when the region has suffered hard times. Water has been a constant through it all. “Our water defined our history and it will define our future as a region,” says Jill Jedlicka, executive director of Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper.
There are many people in the Buffalo Niagara region who are hopeful and supportive of the rebirth of Buffalo's water and waterfront development. See who is involved in If Our Water Could Talk.
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