For Immediate Release: October 27, 2010 Contact: Erich Weyant (ECHDC) | | 716.846.

8258 Julie Barrett O¶Neill Appointed to ECHDC Board of Directors Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER Executive Director appointment breaks new ground; non-profit sector leadership tapped for the first time in the history of ECHDC The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation today announced the appointment of Julie M. Barrett O¶Neill, Esq. to its Board of Directors. Barrett O¶Neill is the Executive Director of Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER, a local organization whose mission is: ³to protect and restore the quality and quantity of our water while connecting people to water." ³I am proud to announce the appointment of Julie M. Barrett O¶Neill,´ said ECHDC Chair Jordan Levy. ³The development of the Inner and Outer Harbors must proceed in ways that are sustainable and ecologically sound. I look forward to her insight on our waterways and the best ways to preserve and utilize them. Her knowledge and leadership skills will be enormous assets both for ECHDC and the people of Western New York.´ Since joining RIVERKEEPER in 2001, Barrett O¶Neill has guided the growth of the organization from its first staff person to a team of 20 professional staff members and from a budget of $26,000 to an estimated $2.8 million in 2011. ³I want to thank Governor Paterson for this appointment,´ said Barrett O¶Neill. ³Through RIVERKEEPER, I have been working with ECHDC for some time now. Our waterfront is an incredibly important resource and an area where not-for-profits can have a positive impact. One of my initial goals will be to begin a dialogue with our region¶s non-profit organizations; my expectation is that there is a lot more common ground with ECHDC than might be initially expected.´ A member of the New York State Bar, Barrett O¶Neill completed her post-graduate work at the University of Iowa, obtaining her J.D. from the College of Law and an M.S. from the Graduate Program in Urban and Regional Planning. She graduated Cum Laude with a B.S. from the University at Buffalo, where she majored in Environmental Studies

Barrett O¶Neill Page 2 Under her leadership, RIVERKEEPER¶s accomplishments have included: y y y y y $2 million in 2010 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative projects. The creation of a new waterfront land trust to hold urban sites for restoration and recreation uses. The Niagara Power Project Environmental Settlement. Adoption of the Niagara River Greenway Plan. $60 million Buffalo River sediment clean-up agreement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA).

In 2006, Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER was recognized by US EPA Region 2 with its highest citizen organization award. In 2005, Barrett O¶Neill was recognized as the Erie County Environmental Citizen of the Year. Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation is a subsidiary agency of Empire State Development Corporation whose vision is to revitalize Western New York¶s waterfront and restore economic growth to Buffalo based on the region¶s legacy of pride, urban significance and natural beauty. ###

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