Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the completion of New York State’s $15 million Regional Dredging Project. The dredging project is part of the state’s $300 million Resilience and Economic Development Initiative to repair and build resilience for communities recovering from damage caused by high water levels and flooding on along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. The objective of the Resilience and Economic Development Initiative Regional Dredging Project, established in 2019, is to provide a comprehensive approach to the ongoing dredging requirements for harbor navigation channels used primarily for recreational boating and refuge. in order to allow the continuous security of the port and the passage of boats.
“New York State is building resilience in communities along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River through strategic flood prevention projects identified through the state’s REDI program,” Governor Hochul said. “I am proud to announce the completion of the Regional Dredging Project, a comprehensive measure which included the dredging of 20 vital shipping channels in the region, proving essential to protect the region’s critical aquatic and coastal habitats, while stimulating tourism by providing safe recreational access for boaters.
During the two initial phases, the project tackled the maintenance dredging of 20 port navigation channels. Over seventy-five percent of the dredged sediment was beneficially reused in a variety of ways, including beach replenishment, shoreline placement, and general landfill. During Phase III, the state transferred program management to counties and provided the information they need to update, expand, and implement an existing regional dredge management plan to maintain canals. operational in the years to come.
Dredging undertaken as part of the Resilience and Economic Development Initiative Regional Dredging Program (REDIP) included:
- Salmon River/Port Ontario, Sandy Pond Outlet (Oswego County)
- Olcott Harbor, Golden Hill State Park (Niagara County)
- Oak Orchard Harbour, Johnson Creek (Orleans County)
- Sandy Creek, Braddock Bay, Long Pond Outlet, Irondequoit Bay (Monroe County)
- Bear Creek Port, Pultneyville, East Bay, Port Bay, Blind Sodus (Wayne County)
- Clayton French Creek Marina, Henderson “The Cut” (Jefferson County)
- Ogdensburg “City Front Channel”, Morristown Navigation Channel (St. Lawrence County)
- Little Sodus Bay (Cayuga County)
Ports included in the regional dredging project along the south shore of Lake Ontario are estimated to generate $94 million in economic activity, with $3.8 million in state tax revenue and $3.8 million in additional dollars for local communities every year. These ports support over 1,350 local jobs.
The REDI Regional Dredging Project was managed by a multi-agency team comprised of the Office of General Services, Department of State, Department of Environmental Conservation, and New York Power Authority, with support from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The state’s initial support for the REDI Regional Dredging Project was designed to give Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River communities time to develop long-term operations, maintenance and financing plans to maintain recreational navigation channels in the future.
New York State Office of General Service Commissioner Jeanette Moy said: “Under Governor Hochul’s strong leadership, the REDI Dredging Project has improved boater access to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, boosted the region’s tourism economy, and improved the region’s wildlife habitats. . This work could not have been accomplished without the fruitful collaboration between the state and our federal and local government partners.”
Basil Seggos, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Co-Chair of REDI, said: “The REDI Regional Dredging Program has been a vital part of New York State’s ongoing efforts to strengthen protections along shoreline communities on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. By undertaking these dredging and resiliency efforts , New York State will continue to work with our local partners to keep the community safe while protecting wildlife in coastal habitats and promoting the region’s vital tourism industry.
Empire State Development REDI Co-Chair and Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said: “Dredging is the foundation of almost all waterfront infrastructure projects and meets a wide range of economic, social and environmental needs. By carrying out these types of dredging and resiliency projects, we are creating safer conditions for all users, and at the same time helping to protect the local business community that depends on a vibrant tourism industry.”
Orleans County Legislative Speaker Lynne Johnson said: “Now that Phases I and II of the Regional REDI Dredging Project have been completed, we look forward to the handover phase in which river counties will receive state information to implement, update and expand a regional dredge management plan This is an exciting time when we can celebrate the hard work of our Governor, REDI Commission members, local governments and consultants who have laid the groundwork to provide channels that are essential to supporting our local businesses, the fishing industry and boaters. We will continue this effort to ensure that this initiative benefits our communities for years to come.”
Niagara County Legislator David Godfrey said: “Collaboration between the state and communities along Lake Ontario to develop and implement a dredge management plan has been very important for Ports Wilson and Olcott. Much work has been done to improve the navigability of these channels and now we have to keep that moving forward in the future.”
Cayuga County Chairman David Gould said: “The completed REDI dredging program has been critical in ensuring that selected shipping channels remain clear and open to boaters, helping to promote public safety and support local economies. With the information gathered, counties will be able to continue this important work. ”
Wayne County Chairman Philip Eygnor said: “We are grateful for the partnership with NYS and Governor Hochul throughout the REDI dredge program. With the data shared with the counties, we will be able to maintain these waterways, keep our residents and visitors safe with future dredging projects.”
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said: “Dredging is critical to the success of our waterfront recreation and economy – and even more important after the damage caused by shoreline flooding in 2017 and 2019. Thank you Governor Kathy Hochul and the commission REDI for continuing the dredging program, ensuring the vitality of our waterfront for years to come.”
Details of the regional dredging project in Cayuga, Jefferson, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, St. Lawrence and Wayne counties, as well as regional benefits for all of these counties, are available here.