Significant flows and river stages coupled with excessive boat waves resulted in shoreline erosion and loss of habitat at different project areas located along the Niagara River West Channel in Grand Island, NY.


The Coastal States Organization (CSO) commissioned a design study to restore the shoreline function and habitat along three project areas in the West River Channel, on the west die of Grand Island, NY. The stakeholders are: New York Department of Environmental Conservation, New York Department of Transportation, New York Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, Department of Environmental Conservation, EPA, USACE, Ducks Unlimited, Audubon, and Buffalo-Niagara Waterkeeper.

GZA is the lead consultant for Geotechnical data collection and analysis, bathymetric and topographic survey, Coastal (water levels, wind waves and boat wakes), and design improvements (plans) for 3,200 feet of shoreline. The restoration of this reach of nearshore and shoreline habitat would halt erosion by stabilizing the bank, reduce sediment wash into the river, and introduce native plants to benefit migratory birds and all spawning fish in the river, and directly support species of concern for the Degradation of Fish and Wildlife Populations BUI including Unionids, Sturgeon, muskellunge, larval fish, common tern, herons and osprey.

The project is on-going, with various design techniques to stabilize the bank being considered. One design element for consideration is low-crested rock sills, similar to the East River Marsh and others that GZA used for reducing the incoming wave and boat wave energy, creating opportunities for near-shore stable habitat (emergent wetland and fish spawning).


The GZA team is planning and designing the proposed improvements providing shoreline protection and aquatic habitat, using our practical experience with this type of project.