NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF STATE AND DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ANNOUNCE MAJOR MILESTONES IN RESILIIENCY PROJECTS ALONG LAKE ONTARIO WATERFRONT IN OSWEGO
Flood Protection Measures Implemented at Wright’s Landing and Port of Oswego as Part of Governor Cuomo’s Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative
Boardwalk Improvements Ensure Access to Key Businesses and Enhance Safety
The New York State Department of State and Department of Transportation today announced major milestones in two of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI) projects taking place along the Lake Ontario Waterfront in the City of Oswego. Ground has been broken on a $6.1 million REDI grant funded project at Wright’s Landing on Lake Ontario in Oswego County that will make the marina more flood resistant and pedestrian-friendly, which will also improve access to key businesses and enhance safety for visitors. The groundbreaking comes as work has been substantially completed on a separate project to install 12 self-adjusting docks at the Port Authority Marina that will protect against future flood damage and allow for continued recreational use.
“Shoreline communities have faced tremendous challenges in recent years, but New York State is leading the way to help them build back better, smarter and more resilient,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “We have a special responsibility to be stewards of the Great Lakes and protecting the people who live in these communities and the business owners is a top priority. The work being done at Wright’s Landing will generate additional foot traffic for local businesses and help to ensure that it remains a place of enjoyment and continues to serve recreational boaters on the Oswego River and Lake Ontario for future generations.”
New York State Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, “Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York State has continued to work with our local leaders along the shores of Lake Ontario even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to helping these vibrant communities revitalize their waterfronts and reinforce their resiliency against future flooding. The Department of State is proud to work with the City of Oswego and its elected officials to improve Wright’s Landing, which will benefit not only the residents of Oswego but the many visitors who enjoy this destination for years to come.”
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, “These projects are just the latest example of Governor Cuomo's historic commitment to protecting our communities along Lake Ontario and ensuring our vital infrastructure can withstand whatever Mother Nature can throw at it. The Department of Transportation is proud to join with the Port of Oswego and our partners in state and city governments to help improve the resiliency of this important center for recreation and commerce.”
The Wright’s Landing project, which was undertaken by the City of Oswego with oversight by the Department of State, includes important flood mitigation measures such as:
It will also create a new pedestrian boardwalk and provide landscape improvements, which will help generate additional foot traffic for local businesses. The project also includes making repairs to the floating docks, which sustained flood damage in 2017 and 2019. The docks and slips will be redesigned and expanded to serve more boaters. All project work is expected to be complete by October 2021.
The Department of Transportation partnered with the Port Authority on the Port Authority of Oswego Marina project, which installed new, self-adjusting docks to replace docks that were at a fixed elevation and no longer able function effectively following the previous years’ flood events. The project improves the durability of the marina – which provides access to the Oswego River and Lake Ontario for numerous recreational boats including local fishing charters - making it better able to adjust to changes in lake levels.
Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito said, “The Wright’s Landing project is a great example of what Governor Cuomo had in mind when he formed the State’s REDI commission to work with communities on projects that will result in resiliency, long-term sustainability, and economic vitality in this flood-prone region of the State. As a member of the REDI commission, it gives me a great deal of pleasure to know Oswego and its boating and tourism industries are benefiting from this successful collaboration.”
Senator Patty Ritchie said, “The City of Oswego and so many other communities along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River have suffered tremendously in recent years due to unprecedented flooding. Despite all they’ve been through, the people of these communities are resilient and through Governor Cuomo’s REDI program, they are building back stronger than ever. I look forward to seeing how the improvements at Wright’s Landing Marina help people from the City of Oswego and beyond enjoy the beauty of Lake Ontario for many years to come.”
Assembly Member William Barclay said, “Congratulations to Mayor Billy Barlow for spearheading this historic waterfront improvement project. This state-funded infrastructure investment in Wright's Landing will benefit generations to come. Together, the improvements planned at the marina will increase boating traffic, make visitors and residents feel more welcome on Lake Ontario, allow for more recreation in the city, complement investments already made at nearby Breitbeck Park, and spur additional economic activity and investments. I was pleased to work with Mayor Barlow and Governor Cuomo to support the city in obtaining this state grant for the improvements, pleased to be a part of the groundbreaking today, and look forward to seeing the work completed.”
Chairman of the Oswego County Legislature James Weatherup said, “The Wrights Landing Marina is a beloved lakefront destination for visitors from all along Lake Ontario. We know that high water and flooding is the new normal, but thanks to Governor Cuomo and the Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative, future high water events will no longer impact marina usage or the tourism industry that is so important to the City of Oswego.”
Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow said, “Our $6.1 million in REDI funding will allow for a complete transformation of Wright’s Landing Marina into a modern, state-of-the-art marina, attracting more boaters, visitors and Oswego residents to our waterfront. For years, we’ve had to admit, as a community, we failed to capitalize on our waterfront. Now, thanks to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative, the upcoming changes will enhance and position Wright’s Landing to be the premier marina on Lake Ontario. Once completed, our improvements will bring an influx in boating traffic into the Oswego Harbor and we’ll have a marina we can use to market our entire community and significantly contribute to our local economy.”
The REDI Regional Dredging Project that is managed by the Office of General Services has scheduled the next dredging project to commence this September, weather permitting, at North Sandy Pond in Sandy Creek, Oswego County.
The sediment dredged from the navigational channel, which connects North Sandy Pond to Lake Ontario, will be used to strengthen the resiliency of Sandy Island Beach State Park and help protect the habitat of the local plover population.
To date, the State has completed three REDI dredging projects to provide recreational boaters with safe access to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Through Phase I and II, the dredging initiative is tackling the necessary dredging of 20 harbor navigation channels. 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 in the years to come.
In response to the extended pattern of flooding along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, Governor 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.
At Governor Cuomo’s direction, the REDI commission toured areas hard hit by flooding on Lake Ontario and worked with local communities to come up with a new vision for the shoreline from both a resiliency and economic development point of view in order to build back better and stronger for the future. They developed a package of actions - ranging from legislative changes to aid packages to executive actions - that will be able to withstand whatever Mother Nature has in store. Part of this plan includes ways to harden public facilities and enhance natural features such as living shorelines and sand replenishment on the Lake Ontario waterfront.
The REDI projects complement the Governor’s $10 million award to Oswego in 2016 through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. The DOS Local Waterfront Revitalization Program is also providing over $1.5 million for additional improvements to the marina, including re-painting the lighthouse; trail connections to Breitbeck park; fire-pits; new and improved restrooms, including showers for boaters; a new fuel station; and a new boater services building.
The Port Authority of Oswego and the businesses that operate out of it are a large source of revenue for the local economy, providing jobs and tax revenue. Additional projects at the Port Authority are anticipated to continue early this fall.
Wright’s Landing is a deep water marina conveniently located at the intersection of the NYS Canal System and Lake Ontario. The marina features seasonal and transient boat slips, a boat launch, fish cleaning station, 24-hour rest room and showers, boat pump out, and more. For more information on the Wright’s Landing REDI project and other REDI projects in the Oswego Region, please click here.The DOS Office of Planning, Development and Community Infrastructure increases resilience and sustainable growth in New York communities by advancing progressive land use solutions and community-based planning and development. For more information on programs administered by this Office, go to https://www.dos.ny.gov/opd/. Follow DOS on Twitter at @NYSDOS or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NewYorkDepartmentOfState/.