Today Wednesday March 13 at 11 AM, PUSH Buffalo, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper (BNR), the Buffalo Sewer Authority (BSA), the WNY Regional Economic Development Council, New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC), and Judith A. Enck of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a major initiative to promote green infrastructure, storm water management, and green jobs in PUSH's Green Development Zone (GDZ) on Buffalo's West Side.
PUSH and Riverkeeper will announce the launch of PUSH Blue, an intensive effort to combat Combined Sewer Overflow. With funding from the state’s Environmental Facilities Corporation, PUSH will complete 25 green infrastructure projects in the GDZ over the next two years, including rain gardens, green roofs, bios wails and catchment systems. “Traditional storm water systems are already at or near capacity in many places and storm water runoff can overwhelm existing sewer systems, leading to pollution of waterways and even homes,” said Suzanna Randall, AICP Green Infrastructure Coordinator for the New York State Environmental Facilities Corp (EFC). “PUSH Blue is a community-based way of addressing the sewer overflow problem while creating green jobs in our neighborhood” adds Jen Mecozzi Director of Community Organizing at PUSH.
People United for Sustainable Housing better known as PUSH Buffalo, is a leader in sustainable green development. The Green Development Zone is PUSH’s internationally recognized effort to grow a new community economy in a 25-square block area of the West Side in the city of Buffalo NY. “The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council is pleased to support PUSH and Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper’s Green Development Zone with a grant through the state’s Consolidated Funding Application,” said Howard Zemsky, WNYREDC Co-Chair and Managing Partner at Larkin Development Group. “As a council, thanks to Governor Cuomo’s leadership, we are embracing projects that stress strategic public and private investments to build a new, innovative and sustainable 21st century economy for Western New York. Buffalo’s West Side will greatly benefit from today’s launch of PUSH Blue” expresses Zemsky.
Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper is a community based organization focused on the environmental health of Buffalo area waterways – including the Buffalo River, and the mighty Niagara River. Their Blue Economy Initiative insures that Buffalo area water resources are protected as they support recreation, eco-tourism, fish, wildlife, manufacturing, waste processing, power generation, trans-shipment, and drinking water. “Overflow issues have, for too long, been a drain on public health and quality of life along the Buffalo and Niagara Rivers and throughout the Lake Erie basin, which is why I fought so hard to help bring state support to this effort” said State Senator Tim Kennedy. Not only will this project benefit the aesthetics of the community, it will prove beneficial to the health of Scajaquada Creek" said Jill Jedlicka Executive Director of Riverkeeper. “PUSH Buffalo and Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper have set a tremendous example for other communities looking to improve their water quality,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck.
We'll keep you posted about the actual launch date and other information about PUSH Blue. Stay tuned!