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Cuomo announces groundbreaking for flood-resilient Lake Ontario Marine Park


Thu, Aug 20th 2020 12:25 pm

$2.67 million project at Irondequoit Bay part of governor's Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced the groundbreaking of a new project to improve flood resiliency at Irondequoit Bay State Marine Park in Monroe County. The $2.67 million project, which is part of the governor's Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative, will repair damage from flooding in 2017 and 2019, and raise the boat launch, docks and parking lot so they can continue to operate during times of high water.

"As the effects of global climate change become more and more prevalent here at home, it's essential that we invest in resilient communities near Lake Ontario and throughout the state," Cuomo said. "This project will bolster Irondequoit's ability to withstand increasingly frequent high waters, helping New York's first responders during emergencies on the lake and incentivizing recreational boaters who make critical contributions to the regional economy."

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said, "Waterfront communities along Lake Ontario 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. Irondequoit Bay is a prime location for recreational boating in the Greater Rochester area, and today's groundbreaking at Irondequoit Bay State Marine Park will safeguard against the threat of rising waters and ensure that it remains a place of enjoyment for future generations."

In addition to elevating the parking area and boat launch, the project will consist of additional transient docks, a playground, an American with Disabilities Act-accessible fishing pier, and a recreational pavilion.

The Town of Irondequoit is also breaking ground on a nearby project to improve storm drainage sewers along Culver Road, which is the gateway to the Irondequoit Bay State Marine Park and several key businesses. This $500,000 investment is designed to mitigate flooding in the roadway and reduce the potential for a road closure during high-water events, which is essential to keep open for emergency services and access to local establishments in the area.

This project will help mitigate the devastating impacts of flooding by modifying the existing storm drains along Culver Road, installing new check valves and creating permanent connections for temporary water pumps, as necessary. In addition to these measures, the project aims to direct floodwaters away from homes in the area to prevent flooding of residential households.

State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, "Thanks to Gov. Cuomo and REDI, the Irondequoit Bay State Marine Park is going to emerge better able to withstand future bouts of high waters on the lake in the years to come."

DEC Commissioner and REDI Co-Chair Basil Seggos said, "DEC has been working closely with communities along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River since day one, helping to protect homes, businesses and critical municipal assets like parks, water infrastructure and roads from damages caused by record-high water in 2019. The project announced today will improve the resiliency of the Irondequoit Bay State Marine Park for generations to come and is a testament to New York's continued commitment to building our shoreline communities back better and stronger."

State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "Through our work as part of Gov. Cuomo's REDI Commission, New York State DOT is ensuring the safety of residents and businesses along the southern shores of Lake Ontario – one community at a time – while also increasing resiliency and building back better with every project. This project to improve storm drainage will help mitigate future flooding and promote sustainability so that the Town of Irondequoit, with its beaches, marinas and breathtaking views, continues to be a wonderful summer destination for thousands to enjoy, every year."

REDI Co-Chair and Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, "The beauty and bounty of Lake Ontario attracts visitors from across the globe, while its surrounding communities rely on the economic support generated by fishing and tourism. By restoring and rebuilding places like the Irondequoit Bay State Marine Park to withstand future flooding events, we are helping shoreline communities that depend on the Lake build back stronger and smarter than ever before."

Irondequoit Bay is about five miles northeast of Rochester and empties into Lake Ontario. The 44-acre Irondequoit Bay State Marine Park is on the northwest shoreline adjacent to Culver Road and Sea Breeze Drive. During the last decade, there have been more than 400,000 visitors to the park, which is operated and maintained by the town of Irondequoit.

Cuomo launched the REDI program in May 2019 year after record-setting high waters hit Lake Ontario in 2017 and 2019, causing significant damage along shoreline infrastructure. Through REDI, the state has committed up to $300 million to rebuild the shoreline, as well as improve resiliency in flood-prone regions along the lake with projects identified by REDI Commission regional planning committees.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said, "As a lifelong Irondequoit resident, I saw firsthand the impact that the flooding events of 2017 and 2019 had on our shoreline residents, businesses and first responders. This investment will greatly improve access to Irondequoit Bay and Lake Ontario, which play an important role in our local economy and our entire community. I join my partners in government in thanking Gov. Cuomo and the Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative for his commitment to restoring and improving Irondequoit Bay State Marine Park and for listening to the needs of our residents, businesses and first responders."

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual parks, historic sites, recreational trails and boat launches, which were visited by a record 77 million people in 2019. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit parks.ny.gov. The free New York State Parks Explorer mobile app is available for iOS and Android devices. To download, visit Google Play Store, NY State Parks Explorer App or Apple Store, NY State Parks Explorer App.

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