Hawley, Norris ask FEMA to fund shoreline protection projects

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 December 2020 at 3:09 pm

Local State Assembly members, Steve Hawley of Batavia and Michael Norris of Lockport, are among eight members of the Assembly who signed a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

They are asking FEMA to ensure adequate funding for projects to protect Great Lakes shoreline communities and surrounding habitats. Within the letter to FEMA Administrator Peter T. Gaynor, the eight Assembly members requested the federal government omit cost-sharing requirements that may come with a potential FEMA grant due.

“The people of our shoreline communities have already had to manage both flooding in recent years as well as the Covid-19 pandemic,” Hawley said. “If we do not prepare now for future flooding, things could become much worse for them given rising water levels in the Great Lakes. We need to be proactive in preparing our infrastructure for rising water levels, because every day we are not the problems our shoreline communities will have to face become more dire.”

Others signing on to the letter include Brian Manktelow, Ken Blankenbush, Mark Johns, Peter Lawrence, Mark Walczyk and Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay.

The Assembly members said state and local governments will likely struggle to meet any cost-sharing agreements for potential FEMA grants due to fiscal stress from the pandemic.

“We request that the federal government omit this cost-sharing requirement to ensure these shoreline communities do not face additional economic hardship, as they have already been affected by recent flooding events on top of the Covid-19 pandemic,” according to the letter.