Secretary of State Robert Rodriquez today announced the completion of construction of a flood resiliency project at Goose Bay Boat Launch in the town of Alexandria, Jefferson County. The project was awarded $455,000 in grant funding through the State’s Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI). The completed improvements will address fluctuating water levels along the St. Lawrence River, as well as promote boater safety.
“Governor Hochul’s continued commitment to investing in the Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI) program enhances the Lake Ontario coastal economy and region,” said Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez. “Through the state’s REDI program, smart and targeted investments are made to fortify infrastructures such as the Goose Bay Launch in the town of Alexandria. The collaboration with the members of the community identified the need to enhance the resiliency measures in order to maintain access to this popular “must go to” destination for residents and visitors.”
The town of Alexandria owns and maintains the Goose Bay Boat Launch. The launch is popular with the residents and visitors of Goose Bay, as well as hunters and anglers, due to the easy access to the St. Lawrence River. The boat ramp was submerged under water as a result of elevated river levels in 2019 and could not be used during high water conditions due to the low bulkhead elevation. Alternately, during low water conditions, the boat ramp did not extend far enough into the Bay to launch boats safely and the area at the end of the ramp was too shallow and needed to be dredged.
Resiliency measures undertaken at the Goose Bay Boat Launch include raising the concrete bulkhead, dredging at the end of boat ramp, and installing a new boat ramp. The existing parking area was improved near the boat launch. Additional parking was created near the corner of Goose Bay Road and Route 12 to provide space for larger vehicles and trailers, and a pedestrian walkway was developed as a safe path to the launch area.
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and REDI Commission Co-Chair Basil Seggos said, "DEC continues to work with our State and local partners to address recreational boaters' safety concerns, support the region's tourism economy, and improve the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shorelines through REDI. Completed projects like the Goose Bay Boat Launch in Alexandria are helping strengthen communities hit hard by flooding while preparing the region for future climate-driven severe weather events."
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner, and REDI Co-Chair Hope Knight said, “The new Goose Bay Boat Launch is the latest of many successful REDI projects that are helping to protect waterfront communities from damaging floods. By making conditions safer for boaters—through dredging, raising the bulkhead and adding a new boat ramp—the project will also buoy local businesses that are dependent on a vibrant tourism industry.”
Senator Mark Walczyk said, "The Goose Bay Boat Launch provides an excellent catalyst for tourism and recreation in the town of Alexandria. Here, anglers and hunters will have easy and convenient access to the St. Lawrence River even during times of changing water levels. This REDI project is great for the town of Alexandria and we're glad to see it done."
Assemblyman Scott Gray said, “The Goosebay Boat Launch REDI project is another example of rebuilding our waterfront for more resiliency and economic benefit. The rebuilt boat launch will enhance access to the great St. Lawrence River for residents and visitors and provide an improved launch for people to recreate, hunt or fish in and around the St Lawrence River. REDI projects along the lake and river continue to be generational improvements to our waterfront that will reap benefits for a long time into the future.”
Jefferson County Chairman William Johnson said, “The completed work at Goose Bay Boat Launch is great news for the entire region. This popular launch is used by visitors and residents alike, helping to contribute to Alexandria’s and Jefferson County’s tourism economy. The REDI Program is proof positive of the great things that can be accomplished when state and local government work collaboratively.”
Town of Alexandria Supervisor Brent Sweet said, “The Goose Bay Boat Launch and parking area are unique due to their multi-season use, drawing outdoor enthusiasts from across the region, state, and country. Ensuring that residents and visitors continue to have year-round access is critical, and we thank New York State and the REDI Commission for their continued partnership helping the town see this important project through.”
In response to the extended pattern of flooding along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, New York State established REDI to increase the resilience of shoreline communities and bolster economic development in the region. Five REDI Regional Planning Committees, comprised of representatives from eight counties (Niagara and Orleans, Monroe, Wayne, Cayuga and Oswego, and Jefferson and St. Lawrence) were established to identify local priorities, at-risk infrastructure and other assets, and public safety concerns. Through REDI, the State has committed up to $300 million, to benefit communities and improve resiliency in flood prone regions along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.
Since the creation of the State’s REDI program in the Spring of 2019, 134 REDI funded local and regional projects are underway, including 33 projects in the design phase, 46 projects in the construction phase, and 55 projects completed.