Schumer says Oak Orchard Harbor will be dredged by June 15

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 March 2014 at 12:00 am

File photo by Tom Rivers – A boat passes through the Oak orchard Harbor last summer. Sediment buildup in the channel has made it difficult for larger boats to use the harbor.

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced today that Oak Orchard Harbor will receive a large maintenance dredge this year, valued at $420,000 and funded through the Sandy Supplemental Appropriations bill.

Schumer met with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Buffalo District Director LTC Beaudoin who confirmed the USACE’s plans and estimated the dredge is scheduled to be completed by around June 15. Schumer has long fought for Oak Orchard Harbor to be dredged, especially since Superstorm Sandy caused sediment damage to the harbor, and has specifically pushed for Sandy Supplemental funds to be used for dredging.

Schumer said this new dredge will allow recreational traffic to move more efficiently and support the charter fishing industry in the area, which generates approximately $269,000 in annual income.

“When it comes to dredging our ports, there is no time to waste, which is why I’ve kept the pressure on the Army Corps to accomplish this Oak Orchard dredging, especially since Superstorm Sandy,” Schumer said. “The timeline to finish dredging by mid-June is great news and it means we will soon get Oak Orchard Harbor moving full steam ahead – which will be an enormous boost this summer to the regional economy, family boaters and fishing charters.”

Oak Orchard Harbor is located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario at the mouth of Oak Orchard Creek. It supports 33 fishing charters and is in need of dredging.

Since Superstorm Sandy left sediment damage, the need for a maintenance dredge has increased. Schumer explained that using money from the Sandy Supplemental Fund will help alleviate the problems posed by the current shallowness of the harbor and return Oak Orchard Harbor to a better-functioning depth.