Watch If Our Water Could Talk below


Buffalo's Outer Harbor - A Community Discussion
The Outer Harbor represents one of the most important opportunities for Western New York to reclaim its waterfront. Community leaders debate how to build on the success that is happening at Canalside and the Inner Harbor, examining issues of water quality, public access and economic development. Watch a community discussion about the future of Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.


Below you will find five bonus program segments: Rowing on the Buffalo River, Dinosaurs of the Industrial Age, A Trip up the Buffalo River with Captain Tom Marks, Stanley Spisiak: A Voice for the Water, and an extended interview with Jill Jedlicka of the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper.


Rowing was a popular sport on the Buffalo River at the turn of the 20th Century. Rowing teams were sponsored by industries up and down the river. However, it all but disappeared by the 1930’s. With the renaissance along the waterfront, rowing is once again returning to the Buffalo River.


Buffalo was a hub for the transshipment of all kinds of products, but particular grain. At one time, there were more grain elevators in Buffalo than anywhere else in the world. As the importance of the Erie Canal declined, shipping moved elsewhere. However, the banks of the Buffalo River are still lined with these industrial dinosaurs.


Captain Tom Marks is a long time Buffalo resident and has spent much of his life on Western New York waterways. The Buffalo River has changed greatly in that time, from industrial power, to post-industrial pollution, to beginning to slowly return to its natural state. Take a trip up the Buffalo River and learn about its past as well as its bright future.


Stanley Spisiak was a local jeweler in Buffalo who had a passion for the outdoors and particularly for the water. He was an advocate for the waters of Western New York long before it was common or popular to speak out about environmental concerns. His actions laid the ground for the path to recovery of the Buffalo River and Lake Erie. Meet Spisiak and his grand-niece Jill Spisiak Jedlicka, who continues that work today.


Tifft Nature Preserve has been many things over the last two hundred years; a natural flood plain for Lake Erie, a transshipping hub, an unofficial city dump, and finally, a nature preserve. Tifft provides an escape from urban life for the people of Buffalo. It is a place where people can experience and enjoy nature without ever leaving the city limits.


Jill Jedlicka is the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper. She and her organization have done much of the legwork to help clean up the Buffalo River and other waterways around Western New York. The work done by Riverkeeper has been integral to the recovery of water all over the region.



Funding for If Our Water Could Talk is provided by HSBC and Honeywell. With additional funding from The Joy Family Foundation, Lawley Insurance and The Baird Foundation.