Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

October 24, 2013

Randy Simons
Dan Keefe
(518) 486-1868

State Parks Begins Environmental Testing at Gallagher Beach

Soil, water, sediment and storm water tests authorized immediately after park planning began in September

New York State Parks today announced testing has begun at Gallagher Beach along Buffalo's Outer Harbor. This week and over the next few months a number of tests in multiple areas will be conducted that will identify bacteria, pesticides and/or other contaminants. The samples will be collected and sent to a laboratory for analysis with expected results back no later than the early part of 2014.

Because public health and safety are primary concerns, State Parks is now working with the Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Department of Health (DOH) and Department of State (DOS) and the Erie County Health Department to evaluate and determine if Gallagher Beach can be made safe and enjoyable for swimming in the future.

On Sept. 24, three weeks after the park plan was announced, State Parks authorized a term contractor, Ecology & Environment Inc., to begin comprehensive soil and water testing at the site. The testing, which began Oct. 21 and will continue through the rest of the year, includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Surface Soil Testing
  • Subsurface Soil Testing
  • Sediment Testing
  • Surface Water Testing
  • Storm Water and Surface Water Grab Testing
  • Field Quality Control Testing

"The Community should be aware that State Parks will NOT open a swimming beach unless it is safe to do so," said Commissioner Rose Harvey. "We are excited about the range of options available for improving the park for the community. Governor Cuomo has recognized the beauty and potential of this wonderful piece of property and we will help bring that vision to life in the safest and most enjoyable way possible."

As is typical when opening a new state park multiple opportunities and improvements are also being discussed for Buffalo's first state park which may include a playground, sports field and/or picnic and pavilion area.

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation maintains and oversees 179 state parks and 35 historic sites. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit, connect on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.