IF OUR WATER COULD TALK is a WNED|WBFO multi-media initiative that includes a television documentary, a community forum on the future of the Outer Harbor, radio reports, a website, educational materials and community engagement. WNED-WBFO plans in-depth coverage over a period of time about this important issue. The television documentary weaves historical context with contemporary stories and characters connected to the water. It tells the story of water as a driving force in Buffalo’s rise through industrialization, its subsequent economic decline, and efforts by community leaders to re-connect communities to the water. The program evokes the beauty of the region’s water resources and captures the unique character of the Buffalo River. IF OUR WATER COULD TALK explores issues related to water resources in the region. It touches on conservation, environmental cleanup, community and public access, commercial and industrial development, and economic growth. IF OUR WATER COULD TALK strives to answer the question, “are we listening to the water?” Read more

Watch the trailer for the documentary


After decades of stalled efforts and missed opportunities, Buffalo’s historic waterfront is becoming the heart of a downtown renaissance. People are going to concerts, playing ice hockey, walking the Canalside boardwalk, and returning to the water in kayaks and tour boats. People are even touring and climbing Buffalo’s iconic grain elevators. Read more

These educator resources are designed to be used with the program If Our Water Could Talk. They are recommended for teachers in elementary, middle and high schools. Included are activities designed to enhance the understanding of Buffalo Niagara waterways, as well as broader, relatable themes to be used in your classroom. Read more

Watch the full length program here. To see more, watch five bonus program segments: Rowing on the Buffalo River, Dinosaurs of the Industrial Age, A Trip up the Buffalo River with Captain Tom Marks, Stanley Spisiak: A Voice for the Water, and an extended interview with Jill Jedlicka of the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper.   Watch now

Add your voice to the project in the If Our Water Could Talk photo gallery. Send us your best photos of area waterways through social media using the #WNYwater today! Photos will be displayed in the photo gallery for everyone to enjoy the beauty of Buffalo’s water. View Gallery...

There have been periods when Buffalo and Western New York have flourished and periods when the region has suffered hard times. Water has been a constant through it all. “Our water defined our history and it will define our future as a region,” says Jill Jedlicka, executive director of Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper. Read more

Find educator resources to be used with the production, If Our Water Could Talk, as well as other related activities. Learn more about the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, Tifft Farm Nature Preserve, and just what is a brownfield site? Read more

WBFO’S Eileen Buckley will explore the ‘HISTORY OF WATERWAYS’. The story will look at historical moments including the Erie Canal, a boom in port in the late 1800’s, Lake Erie pollution of the 1960’s. The series will work to examine condition and concerns and how the water was turned around form the 1970’s. Read more

If water could talk in Buffalo, it would say, “keep planning and implementing with great vision.” Our story on the settlement of Buffalo includes a brilliant radial plan plotted by Joseph Ellicott in1804 that assured we would grow up from the water south and west centered on the Lake Erie Waterfront. Read more...


Aditional Links:

Participants | Pressroom | Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper | Tifft Nature Preserve | Queen City Water | What is a Brownfield Site?