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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.
Water has defined Buffalo over the last two hundred years. Water helped build Buffalo into a shipping hub in the 1800’s and a manufacturing powerhouse in the 1900’s. Most of those industries are long gone but their legacy along the waterways of Western New York is not. Many water related issues face Buffalo today, industrial clean up, environmental restoration, and public access are only a few.
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 it’s past as well as it’s 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.
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