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The Office of the Governor of the State of New York

09/18/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 09/18/2020 15:00

Dredging Commences at North Sandy Pond on Lake Ontario

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the start of dredging at North Sandy Pond in the Oswego County town of Sandy Creek as part of the State's $15 million REDI Regional Dredging Project. The initiative is addressing a backlog of projects at harbor navigation channels along the southern shore of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. The dredging is a significant aspect of Governor's $300 million Resiliency & Economic Development Initiative to repair and build resiliency in communities recovering from damage caused by high water levels and flooding.

'The REDI program is a testament to what can be accomplished when state and local government work together,' Governor Cuomo said. 'North Sandy Pond is the fourth site under this program that will help build more resilient communities as climate change continues to be our reality. The project ensures New Yorkers will be able to continue to enjoy one of their favorite summer destinations.'

Commissioner RoAnn Destito said, 'North Sandy Pond marks the fourth site under Governor Cuomo's REDI Regional Dredging Project where a channel is being cleared for recreational boaters to navigate through safely. We know how eager the local community is to continue providing people with access to Lake Ontario through North Sandy Pond. My team at OGS is working diligently to make that happen and to restore and build resiliency in the dunes and beaches that have sustained damage in recent years from storms and high-water levels.'

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, 'North Sandy Pond and Sandy Island Beach State Park are significant tourism destinations and crucial to the region's quality of life. I'm thankful for Governor Cuomo's commitment to protecting these resources and enhancing their appeal to park visitors and recreational boaters.'

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, 'The North Sandy Pond dredging project is a critical component of Governor Cuomo's REDI effort that is strengthening protections along Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shoreline communities and providing resources and assistance to help New Yorkers rebuild stronger, smarter, and more resilient. The Governor's REDI team of experts continue to advance dredging projects that enhance harbor navigation channels and sustain local economic activity without compromising environmental protections.'

'The Power Authority is pleased to work with our state partners and local communities on critical dredging projects like this one at North Sandy Pond,' said Gil C. Quinones, NYPA president and CEO. 'These projects help ensure New York's waterways are resilient and remain a vital part of the upstate tourism economy.'

The North Sandy Pond dredging project will commence today. It follows the successful completion of REDI dredging at Port Bay in Wayne County late last year and at Blind Sodus Bay and East Bay, both in Wayne County, earlier this year.

The North Sandy Pond project is expected to take approximately a month to complete, depending on conditions at the site and the weather. An excavator and dump truck will be used to remove more than 4,000 cubic yards of sediment and debris that has collected just inshore of the navigation channel.

Heavy erosion of the sandy barrier bar that stretches across North Sandy Pond and shelters it from the full force of Lake Ontario caused the sediment to get deposited at the mouth of the channel. The dredged sediment will be placed on the barrier bar to rebuild the depleted beaches and dunes. The effort will help protect shoreline residences and businesses against flooding, increase the resiliency of the beaches, including at Sandy Island Beach State Park, and benefit the habitats of the area's plover and other wildlife populations while avoiding disturbance of a Lake Ontario shipwreck located in the vicinity.

Prudent Engineering, LLP, a New York State-certified minority-owned business headquartered in East Syracuse that has been involved in other dredging projects in the region, conducted a pre-design survey of the North Sandy Pond channel to determine the extent of dredging required. Prudent Engineering will also conduct a post-dredge verification survey at North Sandy Pond to ensure the desired bottom depth is reached for boats to pass safely through the channel. Prudent Engineering is a sub-consultant to the dredging design consultant, Ramboll of Syracuse.

Local business BDS Interior-Exterior LLC, based in Pulaski, Oswego County, is the contractor hired to perform the dredging work at this location.

The objective of the REDI Regional Dredging Project is to provide a comprehensive approach to the ongoing dredging needs for harbor navigation channels that are used primarily for recreational boating and refuge in the region. Through Phase I and II, this project will benefit each of the eight counties within the REDI region by 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.

The State's initial support for the Regional Dredging Project is designed to give Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River counties the time needed to develop long-term operational, maintenance, and funding plans to maintain recreational navigation channels in the future.

Initial details about the Regional Dredging Project in Cayuga, Jefferson, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, St. Lawrence, and Wayne counties, as well as the regional benefit to all of these counties, is available here.