Seiche event does significant damage, creates safety concerns on preserve’s trails
√ $500,000 Coastal Resiliency Study funded by Dormitory Authority of the State of New York State planned to better protect site from future damage
The Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry announced the closure of the Times Beach Nature Preserve. This action follow’s last weekend’s windy weather and the seiche it created caused damage to the preserve’s trails, creating safety concerns and forcing the preserve’s closure to the public. It is the latest of several weather-related closures of Times Beach due to seiche events since the October 2019 storm.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently approved two projects at the site related to that storm that will aid in the removal of debris and replacement of some of the preserve’s boardwalk, which has been destroyed.
Additionally, a $500,000 grant from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York State Municipal Facilities Program was secured in late 2018 by then-Assemblyman and now New York State Sen. 60th Sean Ryan for capital improvements to the site. The Erie County Department of Environment and Planning and the Friends of Times Beach prepared the successful application. The funding will be applied to a coastal resiliency study being prepared to better protect the site from future seiche damage.
“The Times Beach Nature Preserve is a beautiful but fragile ecosystem and is highly vulnerable to bad weather, due to its location,” Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Troy P. Schinzel said. “The site has taken a beating over the past few years from wind and waves every time we have severe weather, and has been either partly or fully closed at various times during that span. For safety reasons, we will now be closing Times Beach until further notice. In the spring, our department plans to work with the Friends of Times Beach to explore cleanups that could result in certain trails within Times Beach being opened to the public once again.
“I also want to thank NYS Sen. Ryan for helping to secure this grant funding, which will be critical to protecting times beach in the future.”
Ryan said, “In 2018, we secured $500,000 in DASNY funding to pay for much-needed capital improvement projects at Times Beach Nature Preserve. After a series of destructive storms that have necessitated its closure, the site’s priorities have shifted dramatically. As we work to ensure that Times Beach can reopen safely, using the DASNY money to fund a coastal resiliency study will help protect it from sustaining damage of this magnitude in the future.”
For more information on the Erie County Parks Department, visit https://www3.erie.gov/parks/.