LAKE ONTARIO, N.Y. (WWTI) — Governor Kathy Hochul announced the continuation of the regional dredging initiative to build resiliency in communities along Lake Ontario on Monday.
In response to the extended pattern of flooding along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River the Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative was created to increase the resilience of shoreline communities and bolster economic development in the region.
The State’s REDI Commission allocated $20 million for homeowner assistance, $30 million to improve the resiliency of businesses, and $15 million toward a regional dredging effort that will benefit Niagara, Orleans, Monroe, Wayne, Cayuga, Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties. The remaining $235 million has been allocated towards local and regional projects that advance and exemplify the REDI mission.
Governor Kathy Hochul announced on August 30 that dredging had begun at a navigation channel in Orleans County which is used by boaters to access Lake Ontario. According to a press release from the Governor, the dredging project will remove built-up sediment from the bottom of the waterway to allow for continued safe passage of watercraft to support the tourism economy and preserve wildlife in the region.
To date, the State has completed nine REDI dredging projects, and removed approximately 41,750 cubic yards of sediment, to provide recreational boaters with safe access to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. The completed dredging projects include Port Bay, Blind Sodus Bay and East Bay in Wayne County, Sandy Pond Inlet and Salmon River/Port Ontario in Oswego County, Irondequoit Bay and Braddock Bay in Monroe County, Little Sodus Bay in Cayuga County, and Golden Hill State Park in Niagara County.
The Clayton French Creek Marina in Jefferson County and the Ogdensburg “City Front Channel” are included in the future regional sites that will attribute to the over 100,000 cubic yards of sediment that is anticipated to be dredged.
During phase three, the State will provide counties with the information they need to update, expand, and implement an existing Regional Dredging Management Plan to keep the channels operational over time.