Secretary of State Robert Rodriquez today announced construction has begun on a flood resiliency project at the Fishers Landing Boat Launch within the town of Orleans, Jefferson County. The project was awarded $400,000 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.
“The Department of State has been steadfast in our work to implement critical projects that are revitalizing waterfronts and strengthening the resiliency of Lake Ontario shoreline communities,” said Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez. “A new Fishers Landing Boat Launch will help grow the tourism industry in the town of Orleans, particularly during the boating season, and support a flourishing economy in the region for generations to come.”
The town of Orleans owns and maintains the Fishers Landing Boat Launch, located centrally on the St. Lawrence River between the village of Clayton the village of Alexandria Bay. The boat launch is popular with residents and visitors of the area during the boating season, as well as hunters, anglers, and seasonal island residents. In addition, the boat launch site is adjacent to the Fishers Landing Volunteer Fire department and is used by emergency rescue services. The town has made previous efforts to maintain the launch, but due to high water conditions experienced along the St. Lawrence River in 2019, the launch needed improvements.
Resiliency measures for this project include installation of a new boat launch to allow for easier use and accessibility even during times of high-water events, and the addition of new floating docks at the site to allow for temporary vessel tie up during loading and unloading. Lighting will be installed around the ramp and floating docks to accommodate public use of the docks after dusk.
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner and REDI Commission Co-Chair Basil Seggos said, “New York State is committed to improving community resilience to extreme weather events and protecting the health and safety of residents and visitors alike. DEC is proud to work with the Department of State and many other partners through the REDI program to help St. Lawrence River communities, like the town of Orleans, revitalize their waterfronts and strengthen local assets and infrastructure against future extreme water levels."
Senator Mark Walczyk said, "Key improvements to the boat launch at Fishers Landing to include easier accessibility in times of high-water and upgrades to the lighting are huge wins for the Town of Orleans and Jefferson County. I'm excited to hear that progress has begun on this project and I remain ready to assist in any way I can."
Assemblyman Scott Gray said, “The continued growth of the Thousand Island Region is vital to the economy of the North Country. I am very pleased to see the startup of another REDI project that will help protect the economic vitality of the town of Orleans, Jefferson County, and the region.”
Jefferson County Chairman William Johnson said, “The Fishers Landing Boat Launch project is just another step that New York is taking to help the region prepare for future extreme weather events. Governor Hochul and the REDI Commission continue to reaffirm their commitment to the safety and economic wellbeing of the St. Lawrence River shoreline communities and the North Country.”
Orleans Town Supervisor Kevin Rarick said, “When complete, the Fishers Landing Boat Launch REDI project will maintain access to the St. Lawrence River for Orleans residents and visitors during times of fluctuating water levels, helping to support the first-class fishing and boating opportunities that our region is proud to offer.”
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 38 projects in the design phase, 41 projects in the construction phase, and 55 projects completed.
For additional information, project profiles and REDI news, click here.