Newfane resiliency project kicks off

New York Governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, yesterday announced the start of construction of a $14 million resiliency project awarded to the Town of Newfane, Niagara County, through the Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative.

Olcott Harbor is an important recreational harbor located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. The harbor area includes the Town of Newfane Marina, Olcott Yacht Club, Hedley Boat Company, McDonough Marine, and several private homes.

In 2019, the harbor entrance was devastated by flooding, wind-driven waves, and sediment deposition in the navigation channel. High water levels, wave agitation, and new sediment deposits prevented safe refuge and navigation by large and small recreational watercraft.

This project seeks to mitigate the negative impacts of extreme weather conditions on the harbor entrance, thereby protecting boaters, local businesses, and public/private properties that play a critical role in the local recreation/sport-fishing based economy.   

“After historic flooding devastated homes, businesses and infrastructure along Lake Ontario in 2019, New York has been leading the way to provide much-needed help to these communities,” Governor Cuomo said. “Through REDI, we are not just rebuilding the shoreline’s infrastructure, we are building back stronger and smarter for a more resilient future, and that’s exactly what we’re doing with this project in the Town of Newfane.” 

“Shoreline communities along Lake Ontario have faced tremendous challenges in recent years because of climate change, but New York State continues to invest helping them comeback better, smarter and more resilient,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “The resiliency project at Olcott Harbor in the Town of Newfane will protect against future flooding, increase economic activity by extending the boating season, and ensure it remains a place of enjoyment for future generations.”

Resiliency measures to be implemented in the project include:

  • the installation of an offshore oval, rubble-mound breakwater approximately 350 feet in length;
  • enlargement of the east and west piers to reduce wave action and sedimentation at the mouth and within Olcott Harbor navigation channel;
  • preventing flooding and shoreline damage, as well as to make navigation more amenable for longer periods throughout the year.