Oak Orchard Harbor, Johnson Creek on the state list for dredging
The Oak Orchard Harbor and Johnson Creek in Carlton, near Lakeside Beach State Park, are both on a state list to be dredged.
The state has a $15 million regional dredging initiative the Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI).
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Thursday said dredging harbors along Lake Ontario remains a priority. Dredging started at Little Sodus Bay, a navigation channel in Cayuga County used by boaters to access Lake Ontario from Little Sodus Bay.
The dredging project will remove built-up sediment from the bottom of the waterway to allow for continued safe passage of watercrafts to support the tourism economy and preserve wildlife in the region.
The Oak Orchard Harbor dredging is scheduled to start in June 2021 and the Johnson Creek Harbor will get attention in July 2021, the state has previously said.
“We’re building the resilience of communities along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River to prevent flooding and ease maintenance of vital navigation channels for years to come,” Cuomo said. “This dredging project is essential to protecting not only New Yorkers who live and work in shoreline communities but also the wildlife in the coastal habitats of the region, while also boosting tourism by ensuring safe recreational access for boaters.”
To date, the State has completed four REDI dredging projects, and removed approximately 15,000 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, and Sandy Pond Inlet in Oswego County. Through Phase I and II, the dredging initiative is tackling the necessary dredging of 20 harbor navigation channels. Upon completion of the project, over 100,000 cubic yards of sediment is anticipated to be dredged, Cuomo’s Office said.
Future regional dredging initiative sites include:
- Oswego County: Salmon River/Port Ontario
- Niagara County: Olcott Harbor, Golden Hill State Park
- Orleans County: Oak Orchard Harbor, Johnson Creek
- Monroe County: Sandy Creek, Braddock Bay, Long Pond Outlet, Irondequoit Bay
- Wayne County: Bear Creek Harbor, Pultneyville
- Jefferson County: Clayton French Creek Marina, Henderson “The Cut”
- St. Lawrence County: Ogdensburg “City Front Channel,” Morristown Navigation Channel
During Phase III, 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.
In response to the extended pattern of flooding along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, Cuomo created REDI to increase the resilience of shoreline communities and bolster economic development in the region.
Five REDI Regional Planning Committees, comprised of representatives from eight counties (Niagara and Orleans, Monroe, Wayne, Cayuga and Oswego, and Jefferson and St. Lawrence) were established to identify local priorities, at-risk infrastructure and other assets, and public safety concerns.
The 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 each of the eight counties in the REDI regions. The remaining $235 million has been allocated towards local and regional projects that advance and exemplify the REDI mission, Cuomo’s Office stated.
“Addressing the damage and erosion from high water events and wave impacts are essential elements of Governor Cuomo’s REDI initiative that is creating stronger communities along Lake Ontario’s shoreline,” said Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos.