City of Jamestown Chadakoin Riverfront Revitalization
Jamestown is located at the southern tip of Chautauqua Lake, a popular summer destination for Great Lakes region vacationers. The Chadakoin River corridor, which runs through the center of Jamestown, was known, historically, for its furniture production and other industry. This long history of industry left a legacy of contaminated sites (brownfields) along an important tributary to the Allegheny River. Like many cities in the Great Lakes region, the industrial base has experienced a gradual decline over the past decades and the local economy has suffered. At the same time, the river corridor includes very important wetlands and other natural resource areas that provide important habitat for migratory birds and other species, including the Eastern spiny softshell turtle, a State species of special concern.
In order to develop a comprehensive revitalization plan along the Chadakoin River, the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency initiated a study to identify brownfield reuse, ecological restoration and enhancement, and waterfront revitalization opportunities that would celebrate the River, reinvigorate the waterfront, and connect the community with its history, ecology, and economic potential.
A key member of the study team, Biohabitats assessed ecological conditions and developed recommendations for a living infrastructure framework that provides a foundation for revitalization and restoration opportunities along the Chadakoin River. Biohabitats staff conducted literature reviews, desktop analyses and field investigations to establish current ecological conditions within the study area. Biohabitats also participated in a number of public meetings with community members and project stakeholders to draw on their local knowledge and experience.
Biohabitats’ proposed “living infrastructure framework” integrated ecological restoration priorities, conservation, low impact development, green infrastructure, and other opportunities into a cohesive structure that can guide future land use planning and redevelopment decisions.