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STELLA NIAGARA

SHORELINE ENHANCEMENT PROJECT

 

 

 

 SHORELINE   |   ACCESS  |   EDUCATION

CONTACT

Emily Sadowski
716.852.7483, ext. 16
esadowski@bnwaterkeeper.org

PRESS

Improving access to unique waterfront features and recreational opportunities at this culturally and historically significant site.

The Stella Niagara Shoreline Enhancement Project includes expansion of the paddle-craft landing area and shoreline buffer zone at the Stella Niagara Preserve in Lewiston, NY. Pairing ecological expansion strategies with structural improvements aims to create valuable habitat for numerous fish and wildlife species, protect the shoreline from erosive forces of the Niagara River and improve water quality through runoff absorption and filtration.

PARTNERS

YAHOO COMMUNITY FUND FOR NIAGARA COUNTY | Funder
WESTERN NEW YORK LAND CONSERVANCY | Land Owner & Collaborator
LDC CONSTRUCTION | Contractor & Collaborator

THE PLACE

The Stella Niagara Preserve is a recently acquired 29-acre parcel located along the lower Niagara River in the Town of Lewiston. The property, now owned by the Western New York Land Conservancy, is the largest privately-owned, publicly accessible, undeveloped tract of land along the entire Niagara River, and serves as an anchor in establishing the Niagara River Greenway. The shoreline improvements completed through this project complement the restoration that is being completed by the Land Conservancy throughout the Preserve. For more information and updates, visit https://wnylc.org/land-protection/current-projects/stella-niagara-preserve/

One of the few natural landing sites on the Lower Niagara, perfect for launching a canoe or kayak. The off-shore area, known locally as the ‘Stella Drift,’ creates ideal conditions for fishing. The view from Lower River Road overlooking the property and the Niagara River is breathtaking. Considering these factors, the site is ideal for public access. - Western New York Land Conservancy

PROJECT TIMELINE

2017_Structural Improvements

2018_Habitat Improvements

THE PROJECT

Prior to construction, conditions at the landing were not ideal for habitat or public access. Large pieces of concrete debris dominated the shoreline. Construction activities include the removal of concrete and strategic placement of natural materials—boulders, logs, and native plants—resulting in conditions favorable for wildlife and recreational activities.

Feature placement is intended to improve accessibility for non-motorized watercraft and establish protected shallow water areas critical for resting, spawning, and nursery habitat required by many fish species in the Lower Niagara River. Other elements of the project include seating areas and educational signage, providing additional opportunities to learn about the significance of the landing and enjoy the waterfront.

With the structural phase of the expansion project completed in Fall 2017, the following year will bring installation of native vegetation to visually soften the shoreline and strengthen it’s resilience. Enhancing the quanity and diversity of upland and aqatic species will help to stabilize the soil, filter and absorb runoff, mitigate flooding, and create additional habitat for fish, birds and other terrestrial species.

CONCEPTUAL PROPOSAL

A. LEDGEROCK BREAKWALL:
Buffers the shoreline, aquatic vegetation, and substrates from the erosive wave action and ice scour of the Niagara River.

B. PROTECTED HABITAT COVE:
In-water vegetation supports wildlife, helps reduce erosion, and filters runoff before entering waterways.

C. BOULDER PILES:
Provides calm pockets of water where plants can establish.

D. SEATING ROCKS

E. INTERPRETIVE SIGNAGE

F. LEDGE ROCK PADDLE CHANNEL:
Channel access for non-motorized watercraft to launch or land.

G. SUBSTRATE LAUNCH RAMP:
Graded for landing during both low and high water levels.

H. PROTECTED HABITAT COVE

I. CULVERT OUTLET INTO DRY CREEK:
Defined creek channel and cascade pools helps reduce flooding on adjacent pathway.

J. PATHWAY

K. EXISTING CULVERT

1 | Debris Excavation

Prior to construction, conditions at the landing were not ideal for habitat or public access. Large pieces of concrete debris dominated the shoreline. Construction activities include the removal of concrete and strategic placement of natural materials—boulders, logs, and native plants—resulting in conditions favorable for wildlife and recreational activities.

2 | Structural Feature Installation

Feature placement is intended to improve accessibility for non-motorized watercraft and establish protected shallow water areas critical for resting, spawning, and nursery habitat required by many fish species in the Lower Niagara River. Other elements of the project include seating areas and educational signage, providing additional opportunities to learn about the significance of the landing and enjoy the waterfront.

K

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