Local representatives applaud Governor Cuomo’s projects to protect against high water

ABC50 NOW

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) – State Senator Patty Ritchie, Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay and Assemblyman Mark Walczyk applauded Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement of a 20-site dredging project designed to help strengthen shorelines along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River and protect communities from future flooding.

The projects are part of the $300 million in Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI) funding announced last year following another season of record high water along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

The announcement was made Wednesday in the Town of Sandy Creek, where the Governor shared that $600,000 in REDI funds would be awarded to the “North Sandy Pond Resiliency Project.” The project will help strengthen the barrier bar dividing Sandy Pond and Lake Ontario.

“There are countless people along the shorelines of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River who are still reeling from the effects of record high water in 2017 and 2019,” said Senator Patty Ritchie.

“Dredging these sites will be vitally important in our effort to strengthen our shorelines and I thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership and for taking quick action to help protect our communities and make them more resilient in the face of future flooding.”

“Dredging in key areas will help to create a more resilient shoreline and I am thankful that the Governor has made these projects a priority through REDI. In the meantime, we continue to pressure the IJC to change its water management plan so that property owners along the lake are not the last consideration,” said Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay.

“All signs point to another year of record high water levels, and in order to keep the Front Yard of America viable and economically sound, it’s critical to fortify our shoreline and make the region more resilient against high water events,” said Assemblyman Mark Walczyk. 

“I’d like to thank the Governor for his attention and leadership on this issue. This dredging project will not just improve capacity for our waterways, but it will also recycle the dredged sediment, acting as a natural barrier against flooding to allow waterfront communities and businesses to be better equipped to combat rising water levels.”

The complete list of dredging projects in the regions represented by Senator Ritchie, Minority Leader Barclay and Assemblyman Walczyk is as follows:

  • Oswego County: Sandy Pond Inlet, Salmon River/Port Ontario
  • Jefferson County: Clayton French Creek Marina, Henderson’s “The Cut”
  • St. Lawrence County: Ogdensburg “City Front Channel,” Morristown Navigation Channel

Each project is slated to be completed no more than four months from their start dates:

  • September 2020: North Sandy Pond Inlet
  • July 2021: “The Cut” in Henderson, Salmon River/Port Ontario, Ogdensburg’s “City Front” Channel, Morristown Navigation Channel and Clayton’s French Creek Marina

Oswego County is also home to the very first REDI project to be completed. In just four weeks, 435 linear feet of shoreline at Mexico Point State Park was stabilized with the placement of 3,200 tons of stone. The project was completed February 6th.

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