North Shore Habitat Restoration
The North Shore is one of Pittsburgh’s most popular destinations for sporting events, entertainment and outdoor recreation. What if it were also an established habitat for riverfront birds, fish and plants? Riverlife and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District have teamed up to study the North Shore to see how a natural riverbank ecosystem could be integrated into this bustling neighborhood at the headwaters of the Ohio River.
Partnership and Support
The North Shore aquatic ecosystem study was funded as a partnership between Riverlife and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with additional financial support from The Richard King Mellon Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, Alcoa Foundation and The Allen H. and Selma W. Berkman Charitable Trust.
Both private and publicly owned property is included in the area of study. Riverlife has convened property owners and stakeholders within the study area to discuss implementation of the restoration recommendations with existing and future redevelopment plans.
After a 10-month study, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District released a report in June 2016 recommending the restoration of nearly 7.3 acres of aquatic and floodplain habitat along the North Shore. The study area is located at the headwaters of the Ohio River near downtown Pittsburgh and includes 4,000 feet of the right-descending bank of the Ohio River, extending from downstream of the West End Bridge in Chateau to upstream of the Carnegie Science Center in the City of Pittsburgh.
The Army Corps’ recommended plan aims to restore a floodplain wetland in the middle of a dense urban setting. Much of the riverbank in this area is significantly degraded and river habitat is depleted. The plans would improve aquatic habitat through new aquatic substrate and habitat features, remove invasive species, and re-grade existing high riverbanks to more natural banks.