Grasse River restoration wraps up

NY State DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced the completion of a significant Grasse River restoration project to help address a legacy of contamination and improve habitat in the region.

This habitat restoration milestone is the result of a landmark DEC agreement with Arconic in July 2020, and DEC’s ongoing collaboration with the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, New York State Museum, and other partners committed to the Grasse River’s ecological renewal.

This work was completed in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-led cleanup of the Grasse River, a federal National Priorities List site.

“The Grasse River provides habitat not only for the mussels, but also this area’s renowned bass, walleye, and muskie populations. We couldn’t have done this without the help of our partners from the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe and New York State Museum,” said Seggos.

In December 2019, DEC and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe signed a historic cooperative agreement to accelerate the restoration of natural resources in the St. Lawrence River Area of Concern (AOC) at Massena/Akwesasne, which includes the Grasse River.

The cleanup selected by U.S. EPA for the Grasse River began in 2019, and included dredging and backfilling approximately four miles of shallow water habitat and capping approximately 6.5 miles of deep-water habitat with clean material.

Photo: Thew Associates