20 Dredging Sites Selected Along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the completion of the first round of dredging at Port Bay, the first of 20 dredging sites selected across the region to address a backlog of projects at harbor navigation channels along the southern shore of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

The $15 million regional dredging initiative is part of the State’s $300 million effort to repair and build resiliency in communities recovering from damage caused by high water levels and flooding, with the next round of dredging to commence at Blind Sodus Bay, Wayne County in April 2020.

The Governor made the announcement during a stop at Sandy Pond, where a $600,000 REDI award for the North Sandy Pond Resiliency Project will help the Town of Sandy Creek strengthen the barrier bar dividing Sandy Pond and Lake Ontario.

Multiple phases of dredging will provide a substantial amount of sediment for beneficial reuse and help to maintain the balance of natural coastal processes, while protecting property and infrastructure, and ensuring reactional access to the waterfront.

Through REDI, the State has committed up to $300 million, for 133 projects, to rebuild the shoreline, as well as improve resiliency in flood prone regions along Lake Ontario.

State agencies, in coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, secured engineering services to kick start the eight-county regional dredging project and deliver a project outline that will identify areas to be dredged and include a timeline for implementation.

The New York Power Authority is part of the REDI Strike Team on dredging and is providing independent technical review for the dredging projects.

Using a remote-controlled boat equipped with a multi-beam sonar, a bathymetric survey was completed by prime contractor Ramboll Group to give the State a picture of what the bottom of Port Bay and Blind Sodus Bay look like. The survey is helping to determine how much dredging is required to reach the desired depth for the navigation channels.

This type of survey, along with knowledge of the sediment composition and a disposal location for the dredged sediment is required to implement the Regional Dredging Project at each harbor. Field teams will be conducting additional surveys at harbors throughout the region in spring 2020.

Dredging locations include:

  • Oswego County: Sandy Pond Inlet, Salmon River/Port Ontario;
  • Niagara County: Wilson, Olcott Harbor;
  • Orleans County: Oak Orchard Harbor, Johnson Creek;
  • Monroe County: Sandy Creek, Braddock Bay, Long Pond Outlet, Irondequoit Bay;
  • Wayne County: Port Bay, Blind Sodus Bay, Bear Creek Harbor, Pultneyville, East Bay;
  • Cayuga County:  Little Sodus Bay;
  • Jefferson County: Clayton French Creek Marina, Henderson “The Cut”;
  • St. Lawrence County: Ogdensburg “City Front Channel,” Morristown Navigation Channel.

Each dredging project is targeted to be complete no more than four months from its start date, with dredging expected to commence in:

  • April 2020 at Blind Sodus Bay
  • September 2020 at East Bay and North Sandy Pond Inlet
  • October 2020 at Braddock Bay, Pultneyville and Little Sodus Bay
  • April 2021 at Sandy Creek
  • June 2021 at Olcott Harbor, Oak Orchard Harbor and Wilson
  • July 2021 at Irondequoit Bay, Long Pond Outlet, Bear Creek Harbor, Henderson “The Cut,” Johnson Creek, Salmon River/Port Ontario, Ogdensburg “City Front” Channel, Morristown Navigation Channel and Clayton French Creek Marine.