Erie Basin Marina

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Erie Basin Marina
Erie Basin Marina 1.jpg
View of marina from docks
Country United States
Location Buffalo, New York
Coordinates 42°52′53″N 78°53′27″W / 42.8813305°N 78.8907812°W / 42.8813305; -78.8907812Coordinates: 42°52′53″N 78°53′27″W / 42.8813305°N 78.8907812°W / 42.8813305; -78.8907812
Opened 1974; 44 years ago (1974)
Owned by City of Buffalo
Type of harbor Artificial
Size c. 24 acres (9.7 ha)[1]
Available berths 286 slips (1999)[2]:183
Draft depth 29 feet (8.8 m)[3]
Official website

The Erie Basin Marina is a municipal inland harbor in Buffalo, New York. The marina is primarily for residential usage,[2]:353 containing a large array of boat docks, gardens, and a public observatory overlooking the city and waterfront. The marina's harbor discharges into the Niagara River and Lake Erie.

Erie Basin Marina sits immediately south of the Black Rock Canal and the north of Buffalo's Inner Harbor and Naval Park area, where it is joined by a promenade walkway.[2]:xiv It is protected by a long breakwall constructed and maintained by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.[4]


Marina under construction, July 1973

Before the marina was constructed, it was the site of the Erie Basin, one of two connections from Buffalo's Outer Harbor to the Erie Canal in the 19th and early 20th-centuries.[5] The excavation occurred between 1848 and 1852, then protected by a seawall of stones, wood and gravel.[6] Its entrance was the site of Buffalo's first waterfront grain elevator constructed by Joseph Dart.[2]:135 Later on,[when?] railroad tracks for Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad were put in place in the same location, specifically for loading ships with coal ore.[2]:174

It was reported that in 1900, a steamer owned by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Columbia, was stolen by two tugboats from the basin on a June night.[7]

Constructed began in the 1950s[8] and was completed by 1974, from slag of Bethlehem and Republic Steel.[9] When viewed from above, Erie Basin Marina has the shape of a buffalo, an intentional design feature paying homage to the city's metonym.[8]

In recent years, contamination and sewage has become an issue for the harbor. The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, which operates the marina, routinely clears logs and debris from the marina inlet.[2]:99 In addition, 10 million gallons of city sewage overflows in 2010 was cut down to four million in 2017 after infrastructure improvements were completed.[10]

View of the Niagara River from Erie Basin Marina's observatory

$1 million was spent in 2010 on the reconstruction of the marina seawall, an extension of the boardwalk, and a concrete pier besides the observation tower.[11] In 2013, developer Carl Paladino planned to construct a 14-story apartment complex at the entrance to the site.[12] A new restaurant, William K's, opened in 2015, joining The Hatch at the marina.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Reports of selected cases decided in courts of the State of New York other than the Court of Appeals and the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court : miscellaneous reports. Williams Press. 1972. pp. 412–414. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d e f Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas, Inc. (1999). Buffalo Inner Harbor Development Project: Environmental Impact Statement.
  3. ^ Remmey, G. Bickley; Cannell, Laura (2007). The Great Circle Route: A Guide to Planning and Cruising, Around the Eastern USA. Paradise Cay Publications. p. 45. ISBN 9780939837687.
  4. ^ HARBOR INFRASTRUCTURE INVENTORIES (PDF). United States Army Corps of Engineers. June 29, 2010. p. 7.
  5. ^ Buffalo Inner Harbor Development Project: Environmental Impact Statement, Volume 2. 1999. p. 46. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  6. ^ Brown, William J. (2009). American Colossus: The Grain Elevator, 1843 to 1943. p. 83. ISBN 9780578012612.
  7. ^ Coleman, John P. (2014). Historic Amusement Parks of Baltimore: An Illustrated History. McFarland. p. 13. ISBN 9781476616483.
  8. ^ a b Wendt, Kaylee (June 8, 2016). "Hidden in the Harbor: The shape of the Erie Basin Marina". Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  9. ^ Goldman, Mark (1990). City on the Lake: The Challenge of Change in Buffalo, New York. Prometheus Books. p. 310. ISBN 9781615923922.
  10. ^ Tevlock, Dan (November 21, 2017). "Sewage inundating Buffalo waterways – Investigative Post". Investigative Post. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  11. ^ Meyer, Brian (September 18, 2010). "Improvements to Erie Basin Marina will proceed with $1 million state grant". Berkshire Hathaway. The Buffalo News. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  12. ^ Staff. "Inside City Hall: Paladino's planned waterfront complex". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  13. ^ Mroziak, Michael. "New marina restaurant looks to attract year-round diners". WBFO. Retrieved 8 December 2017.