REDI project complete at Ogdensburg’s historic Fort de la Presentation

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Historic Fort de la Présentation site, Ogdensburg, N.Y. (photo: Clarkson University)

OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWTI) — A resiliency project is complete at Fort de la Presentation in Ogdensburg.

Through the New York State Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative, crews worked to complete shoreline stabilization efforts and trail improvements at the historic site. This was a part of ha $1.3 million resiliency project awarded to the Fort de la Presentation Association in St. Lawrence County.

According to the Association, the Fort de La Presentation site, which is located in the city of Ogdensburg, was once used during previous wars by American, Canadian, Native American, French and British people for worship, trade, and protection. Now, the site is used for the War of 1812 military reenactments and community recreation.

However, the site is located on a peninsula at the intersection of St. Lawrence and Oswegatchie rivers and has experienced extensive erosion and flooding in recent years. Through REDI funding, the Association rebuilt shorelines and trails damaged from flooding and redesigned the area to be more resilient in the event of future incidents.

“Like so many communities along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, the city of Ogdensburg is no stranger to devastating flooding and that’s why New York State’s REDI effort is leading the way with historic investments to help communities build back better, smarter, and more resilient,” Governor Hochul said in a press release. “The Fort de la Presentation project in the city of Ogdensburg will help mitigate flooding and combat erosion, helping to maintain this historic gem for future generations while enhancing local wildlife habitat.”

Specifically, the project at Fort de La Presentation stabilized shoreline on the Oswegatchie River using riprap with live stake plantings and toe wood or toe rock installations, stabilized the St. Lawrence River shoreline with rock sill stabilization with soil lifts, natural stone slab steps for access to the river, and native plantings along the shoreline and raised a portion of the Abbe Piquet Trail above flood elevation and building a new resilient overlook deck platform.

To commemorate the project’s completion on October 22, local lawmakers and representatives visited the site to cut the ribbon to new trails. This included State Senator Patty Ritchie and St. Lawrence County Chairman William Sheridan.

“Fort de La Presentation is an important part of our history, which makes it critical to both preserve and protect it. In recent years, we’ve seen the toll record high water has taken on the Fort’s property,” Senator Ritchie said. “Through this project, we are ensuring it will be more resilient if faced with future flooding and in addition, are making enhancements that will allow people to better enjoy this important historical site for generations to come.”

“Through these infrastructure investments, New York State is helping to ensure that the region’s tourist industry remains intact,” Chairman Sheridan added. “The Fort de la Presentation historic site is a treasure among community members and a favorite destination for visitors from across the state and Canada, and we are pleased to see this important project complete.”

The New York State REDI program was created in the Spring of 2019. Since then, 134 REDI funded local and regional projects are underway, including 85 projects in the design phase, 21 projects in the construction phase, and 28 projects completed.

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