by Mark Sommer, The Buffalo News

The waterfalls are a given.

But there’s a lot more for the 8 million tourists at Niagara Falls State Park to appreciate along the Niagara River corridor.

That’s why government and tourism officials sounded so excited about an international designation bestowed upon the Niagara River corridor Thursday, when it became just the 40th Ramsar site in the United States. It’s a designation that recognizes rare and unique wetlands for their importance to biological diversity and to humanity as a whole.

“This side of the falls is developing in a more natural way, where the other side is dense, dense, dense development,” said Rep. Brian Higgins.

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