The Great Lakes Experience
About Us Projects Events Become a Friend Resources

GLE Festival
Waterchestnut Ecochallenge
GLE Institute
Future Projects

Great Lakes Experience Festival
Great Lakes Experience Festival, has grown from 300 participants since its beginning in 2001, to more than 3,200 people last year. The Festival is our best opportunity to educate the community about local natural resources, celebrate our ecological success stories, and to reinforce the simple truth that everyone has a role in protecting our shared environment. By hosting live animal exhibits and educational games and displays, visitors enjoy learning about everything from local wildlife to safe boating. The Festival fosters an enhanced awareness that encourages private organizations and local residents to participate in the mission of Federal and State agencies to protect, conserve and enhance the fish, wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the citizens of the Buffalo Niagara Region.
The Sturgeon Trail and Kiosk Project
will highlight the lake sturgeon and other important wildlife that inhabit the Niagara River and Lake Ontario shore. Six kiosks will be stationed along the River and the Lake. Potential locations include: the water intakes above the Falls, Prospect Point, Lewiston Landing, the Fort Niagara boat launch, and Wilson and Olcott harbors. Three-sided kiosks will be installed at each location to showcase the important wildlife that inhabit the area, the Lake Sturgeon Restoration Project and other changes impacting the River and Lake Ontario ecosystems. The kiosks will become useful educational tools for tour groups.
SNAP! (Students, Nature and Photography)
is a program designed to engage underprivileged children in a variety of nature-based experiences using newly learned photography skills. This will provide children in Niagara and Erie Counties with a range of opportunities to form the lasting habit of spending time outdoors and participate in the joys of discovering and capturing unique moments of natural splendor on film. The children will develop their own sense of accomplishment in their exploration of nature and the challenges of creating great pictures, and the larger community will be able to enjoy the results of their work.
The Waterchestnut Removal Ecochallenge
is a three-day event that will be hosted by the GLE to assist the Office in removing the invasive plant from Tonawanda Creek, which has become unusable for recreational enjoyment by the public. Corporations, non-profit groups, and youth organizations will be invited to create teams and pull out the plants by hand.
The Great Lakes Experience Institute
will be a state-of-the-art environmental research facility on the Buffalo waterfront that will quickly become Buffalo’s premiere tourist destination. Comprising an aquarium, greenhouse, fish hatchery, amphitheater, visitor’s center and gift shop, the GLE institute will attract tour groups, students and families in the community to come and learn about the unique inhabitants and features of the Lower Great Lakes ecosystem and the Office’s work and goals. The GLE institute will also include laboratories, libraries, offices, classrooms and administrative and conference spaces for environmental partners from around the region.