Governor Hochul Announces Completion of $ 14 Million Flood Resilience Project in Newfane Town, Niagara County


Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the completion of a $ 14 million resilience project awarded to the Town of Newfane, Niagara County, through the State Resilience and Economic Development Initiative (REDI). Olcott Harbor is a major marina located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. The port area includes the Newfane Town Marina, the Olcott Yacht Club, the Hedley Boat Company, McDonough Marine and several private residences. In 2017 and 2019, the port entrance was submerged by flooding, wind-driven waves and sediment deposits in the shipping channel. The high water levels, the agitation of the waves and the new sediment deposits have made it difficult for the safety and navigation of large and small pleasure craft.

“Climate change is a reality we cannot afford to ignore and New York is tackling the challenge head-on. As part of these efforts, we are working to rebuild, reimagine and protect riverside communities that have been devastated. by the high waters of 2019, ” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Through strategic investments in infrastructure and our partnership with local governments, we are seeing long-awaited flood mitigation projects, like the Newfane Town Breakwater Project, come to fruition. This completed project is a testament to the great feats that can be achieved. accomplished when state and local government work together.

Thanks to the partnership with the State of New York and supported by the investments of PENSER, the city of Newfane was able to carry out the project of construction of sea breakwaters and significantly modify the east and west jetties, thus mitigating the negative impacts of extreme weather conditions on the entrance to the port, therefore protecting boaters, local businesses and public / private properties which play a vital role in the local economy based on recreation / sport fishing. Plus, because Olcott’s piers and the mouth of Eighteenmile Creek are some of New York State’s most popular sport fishing access points for anglers, many without boats, and that the jetty modifications are specifically designed to improve the safety of fishermen and attract fish.

The resilience measures implemented in the project include the installation of an oval rubble mound breakwater approximately 350 feet in length, and the expansion of the east and west jetties to reduce the action of waves and sedimentation at the mouth and in the shipping channel of Olcott Harbor, preventing flooding and damage to the shoreline, as well as making navigation easier for longer periods throughout the year.

Governor Hochul also announced today that dredging of the Port of Olcott will begin in November, as part of the state’s $ 15 million REDI regional dredging project. The dredging, which will be undertaken upstream of the Town of Newfane’s Breakwater project, will remove sediment accumulated at the bottom of the waterway to allow a safe and continuous harbor and passage for boats. The dredging fleet consists of a hydraulic excavator equipped with a GPS from a barge, removing approximately 1,600 cubic meters. The removed sediment will be loaded into trucks for dewatering and temporarily stored at the marina. After dewatering, the sediment will be transported to a facility owned by the Town of Newfane for further use.

To date, the state has completed 14 REDI dredging projects and removed approximately 61,000 cubic yards of sediment to provide boaters with safe access to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Completed dredging projects include Port Bay, Blind Sodus Bay, East Bay, Bear Creek and Pultneyville in Wayne County, Sandy Pond Inlet and Salmon River / Port Ontario in Oswego County, Irondequoit Bay, Braddock Bay and Sandy Creek in Monroe County, Little Sodus Bay in Cayuga County, Golden Hill State Park in Niagara County, Oak Orchard in Orleans County, and Henderson “The Cut” in Jefferson County.

All dredging activities are dependent on favorable weather and hydrological conditions.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) commissioner and REDI Commission co-chair Basil Seggos said, “With the unwavering support of Governor Hochul, the Resilience and Economic Development Initiative is working with flood-prone communities like Newfane Town to reinvent our infrastructure and rebuild community assets. The Olcott Harbor Breakwater project will promote economic growth in this community while improving the quality of life for waterfront residents. “

State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said: “Boating and fishing are essential to the local tourism economy and the quality of life of Lake Ontario communities. The Town of Newfane’s work to protect Olcott Harbor will make this popular Lake Ontario destination safer and more enjoyable for residents and visitors.

New York State Dorm Authority President and CEO Reuben McDaniel III said: “DASNY is proud to support Governor Hochul’s vision to protect communities and vital resources like the Port of Olcott from the elements. The port is a unique and important site for the residents of Newfane Town, for businesses in Niagara County, and for visitors from across New York City and beyond, now and into the future. “

New York State Office of General Service Acting Executive Deputy Commissioner Roslyn Watrobski said: “Completing the THINK projects in communities across the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River region is something New York State and our local government partners can be proud of accomplishing. This vitally important work will benefit the economy, protect our environment and provide protection against future flooding. “

Senator Robert Ortt said: “Those who live and work around Olcott Harbor are no strangers to the damage and destruction that the high waters of Lake Ontario can cause. Since 2019, local residents and government officials have worked with New York State and the THINK Commission to ensure safety and mitigation measures are in place to prevent the same amount of damage we have seen in recent history. I am delighted to see the completion of this much-needed project and applaud everyone involved who helped make it a reality.

MP Michael Norris said, “I am proud to have worked with Governor Hochul and the Lake Ontario Resilience and Economic Development Initiative Commission on critical infrastructure and funding projects that will strengthen our shoreline and protect our residents. , our businesses and community assets against future high water levels. The Olcott Marina project will help protect and preserve the town of Newfane Marina, Olcott Yacht Club, Hedley Boat Co., McDonough Marine and several private homes. It is truly a transformation project that will have a positive impact on future generations. I appreciate the cooperation and persistence of Governor Hochul, Senator Ortt, City Supervisor Tim Horanburg and so many local and state officials who have made this key economic and tourism investment a reality. “

Niagara County Legislative Assembly Speaker Rebecca Wydysh said: “The Olcott Harbor Breakwater project sums up what the THINK program really is, as we are not just repairing the damage caused by the Lake Ontario flooding, but seizing the opportunity to build for the future and open new ones. possibilities. The result will hopefully mean a longer boating season and increased economic activity. I want to acknowledge the work of my colleague, lawmaker John Syracuse and Newfane supervisor Tim Horanburg, who worked closely with state officials to bring the Breakwater Project to fruition. And to the contractors and workers on this project, you have done an incredible job. “

Newfane Town Supervisor Horanburg said, “The Port of Olcott has been negatively affected by rising waters and heavy waves for years. The historic flooding of 2019 devastated the port. Thanks to the state’s REDI program, we were finally able to build the breeze -Critical blades, essential for protecting the residents and businesses that have made their home along the harbor shore and allowing Olcott Harbor to remain a safe haven for boaters. I would like to thank Governor Hochul for her unwavering support of the project breakwater and for its commitment to communities around Lake Ontario, such as the Town of Newfane. “

In response to the prolonged trend of flooding along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, New York State established THINK to increase the resilience of waterfront communities and support the region’s economic development. Five PENSER regional planning committees, made up of representatives from eight counties (Niagara and Orleans, Monroe, Wayne, Cayuga and Oswego, and Jefferson and St. Lawrence) were established to identify local priorities, infrastructure and other at-risk assets, and public safety concerns. Through PENSER, the state has committed $ 300 million to benefit communities and improve resilience in flood-prone areas along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

Since the creation of the State’s PENSER program in spring 2019, 134 local and regional projects funded by PENSER have been underway, including 85 projects in the design phase, 20 projects in the construction phase and 29 completed projects.

For more information, project profiles and REDI news, click on here.

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