Living Shorelines at Sandy Beach Park Club

Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper recently implemented a Living Shoreline project at the Sandy Beach Park Club, located on the north end of Grand Island. Sandy Beach Park Club is a community membership organization that provides a place for families within the Sandy Beach neighborhood to enjoy the waterfront, and features a picnic area, beach access, and small dock. Living Shoreline implementation at the site will produce numerous benefits including creation of new coastal wetland habitat in the Niagara River, enhanced access to the water, and water quality improvements. Construction at the site began in November 2015, and concluded in November 2016.

During construction, native plants were installed along the waters’ edge,

…and boulders were placed along the shoreline to provide habitat and shelter for fish.

We implemented the following changes at this Living Shorelines site:

  • Removal of a significant portion of the existing hardened sheet metal and concrete bulkhead,
  • Grading the slope to create a transitional living shoreline alongside a gradual sandy beach area,
  • Placement of boulders, rocks, and recycled logs in-water to dissipate wave energy and other erosive forces, protect planting areas, and provide important hiding and resting areas for fish, and
  • Planting of native species in-water, along the shoreline, and in upland areas in order to absorb and filter pollutants and nutrients, create critical habitat, and establish root systems that help to combat erosion.

This Living Shorelines project was implemented with the help and support of our partners: Sandy Beach Park Club, LDC Construction, Cardno, and Bailey Brothers Enterprise Inc. In addition to contributing to a healthier ecosystem, this project will also create learning opportunities for the public through Waterkeeper public forums and tours.

Additional information on this project can be found here:
Sandy Beach Project Poster

Ground Breaking Press Release

Buffalo News article, November 2016: ‘Living shorelines’ bringing life back to Niagara River on Grand Island

Questions about this project? Please contact Emily Sadowski at (716) 852-7483, extension 16, and