Grass Island to be Walled Off from Boaters

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Hundreds of boater gather in the shallow water creating a festive-like time. People get out and swim and wade in the shallow water with its sandy bottom.



By: Frank Parlato

This may be the last summer for Grass Island boating.

The New York State Parks will commence a project in the fall of next year that will effectively wall off boaters from accessing Grass Island.

Grass Island is not really an island in the usual sense of the word. It is actually an area of shallow water with sea grasses growing above the water. It is just off the shoreline of Buckhorn State Park.

In the summer literally hundreds of boaters love to congregate there and it may be the only area in the upper Niagara River where boaters can anchor in shallow, clean water with a nice sandy bottom and enjoy themselves. 

The area is especially popular with boaters from Niagara Falls.  On weekends in summer it attracts several hundred boats.



New York State Parks has plans to “renovate” it. They will install rock barriers in about 4 or 5 feet of water, and all the shallow areas within the barriers – out in front of Grass Island – will likely be taken out of the public domain.

It appears this project is focused on keeping boaters out of this area in favor of creating and  preserving fish habitat. 

The plan is that with the barriers it will preserve what remains of this grassy area which is an excellent fish habitat. State Parks also plans to plant more grass in the shallow water. 

Much of the grassy area has been lost over the last 100 years.

There has been very little publicity about this planned change in the waters around Grass Island. I would not be surprised if boaters take it rather hard when they find out about it.

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