Over $3.7 Million in Grant Funding to Replace, Reconstruct, and Protect Damaged Docks and Improve Accessibility for Recreational Boaters
$2.55 Million to Elevate Riverwalk and Protect Local Businesses from Future Flood Damage
$2.4 Million Awarded to the Village of Clayton to Upgrade Wastewater Collection and Treatment Plant Will Increase Pump Capacity and Protect Public Health
Part of New York State’s $300 Million Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the completion of on a series of flood resiliency projects in the Village of Clayton, Jefferson County. The five completed projects were awarded more than $8.6 million in grant funding through the State’s Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative. The completed REDI-funded projects will help mitigate the impact of future extreme weather events, improve resiliency of the shoreline, ensure recreational boaters have continued access to the village docks, and protect popular destinations like the Riverwalk. Upgrades to the Village of Clayton Wastewater Collection and Treatment Plant will eliminate overflows to the St. Lawrence River, and potential health hazards.
"Climate change is already affecting New York, causing more frequent and intense extreme weather events that devastate communities across our state," Governor Hochul said. “To help prevent and mitigate damage from future storms, New York is committed to helping waterfront communities along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River improve their infrastructure. With the completion of these projects, the Village of Clayton is not only supporting economic development in the region, but building a more resilient community for future generations.”
In 2019, the St. Lawrence River reached record high water levels that resulted in devastating floods throughout communities along the river’s shoreline. These events caused degradation of public infrastructure and restricted public use of popular tourist destinations like the Riverwalk, negatively impacting public safety and local economies.
Today’s announcement includes:
- The Riverwalk, $2,554,000, award: The Riverwalk, located along the St. Lawrence River, has become a popular destination for visitors and residents, connecting the various attractions and local businesses of the downtown shopping district. In 2019, high river levels and extreme wave action resulted in flood damage to sections of the Riverwalk. This project will help mitigate the impacts of future high-water events through the installation of an elevated boardwalk above the existing structure.
- Crib Dock at Mary Street Boat Launch, $2,489,000 award: There are two village owned docks at Mary Street. The Main Dock at Mary Street provides essential docking space to visitors and residents. The dock is popular with tourists and allows visitors to access the local shops, museums, and restaurants in the community. The smaller Mary Street Boat Launch Dock assists boaters in launching their recreational vessels at the boat ramp. Due to flood events, both structures suffered significant damage, negatively affecting the stability of the docks and hindering accessibility to recreational boaters. Resiliency efforts in this project included replacing the Boat Launch Dock with a new floating dock and reconstructing the Main Dock at a higher elevation.
- Village of Clayton Wastewater Collection and Treatment Plant, $2,370,000 award: The flooding of the St. Lawrence River in 2019 negatively impacted the Village of Clayton Wastewater Collection System and Treatment Plant as well as the Riverside Drive, leaving portions of the infrastructure below water, limiting pumping capabilities, and causing interruption of the chlorine disinfection process. This project sought to address the damage sustained during high water events as well as eliminate overflows to the St. Lawrence River, and potential health hazards. Mitigation measures for this project included converting the existing chlorine contact to an intermediate effluent lift station and expanding the filtration/disinfection building to include larger cloth media disk filters and UV disinfection systems to treat peak flows and provide redundancy at the plant. The Riverside Drive Pump Station dry well was converted to a wet well, and new larger dry pit submersible pumps were installed, increasing the pumping capabilities to the treatment plant and eliminating overflows to the river.
- Village Docks by Veterans Monument, $975,000: The Village Dock and the Veterans Memorial Monument are popular with visitors and tourists as it allows direct access to the Riverwalk and local businesses. The dock was installed in 1996 and consisted of a wooden floating dock and anchoring system. High water and corresponding wave action threatened the future functionality of the Village Dock along the Riverwalk near the Veterans Memorial Monument. This project consisted of replacing the existing floating wave attenuator, providing protection to the dock from future extreme wave action.
- Frink Park Regional Dock, $250,000: The Thousand Islands Regional Dock, located along the shoreline adjacent to Frink Park in downtown Clayton, is a crucial access point to the community as a U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Coast Guard-certified 105c Port of Entry. The dock can host tall ships, yachts, tugboats, and cruise ships. It is vital that this dock remain open and accessible. Flood damage included washout of the landing pavers. Mitigation measures for this project included sealing gaps between the existing sheet pile wall and river bottom to protect the bulkhead wall and prevent future erosion of fill from behind the wall.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and REDI Commission Co-Chair Basil Seggos said, “With the completion of each REDI project New York State reaffirms its commitment to communities along the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shorelines. With the support of Governor Hochul, DEC and its state and local partners are building back critical village infrastructure stronger and more accessible than before, benefiting not only the residents of Clayton but the many visitors who will enjoy this regional treasure for years to come."
Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, “As we continue to protect the shoreline of the St. Lawrence River, resilient infrastructure projects like these are vital to the economy, the environment, and overall sustainability of the Village of Clayton. Governor Hochul’s ongoing efforts to mitigate the impacts of extreme water levels reflects the State’s commitment to building stronger and more resilient communities. These projects also complement our longstanding resiliency and revitalization efforts with the Village of Clayton through our Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, which further demonstrates all that can be accomplished when State and local governments work together.”
New York Power Authority President and CEO and Jefferson County REDI Commissioner Justin E. Driscoll said, “The five REDI Commission projects announced today have all the hallmarks of great public works projects. While bolstering shorelines against future flooding, the projects will improve public safety, foster economic development, and enhance recreational opportunities for area residents and tourists. We, at NYPA, are excited for the long-term benefits these projects will have for local communities.”
Environmental Facilities Corporation President & CEO Maureen A. Coleman said, "Protecting wastewater treatment facilities is of paramount importance for the public health of residents and the tourism industry that thrives in shoreline communities like the Village of Clayton. EFC is proud to have helped the village undertake these critical upgrades with a $2.37 million grant. By providing grants to municipalities in support of the Governor's REDI program, EFC is assisting in the protection of critical infrastructure that contributes to the long-term resiliency of our shorelines."
State Senator Mark Walczyk said, "The village of Clayton continues to be strong and resilient as it attracts visitors to come see the beauty of the Front Yard of America. Committing to upgrading key infrastructure and tourism assets is an important venture for Jefferson County and the 49th Senate District."
Assemblymember Scott Gray said, “Several crucial infrastructure and community projects in Clayton, under the REDI program, including the Riverwalk and various docks, have concluded, with funding totaling over $8.6 million to mitigate future flood damage. The projects aim to rebuild and elevate structures, replace damaged docks, and improve wastewater treatment facilities that were affected by the 2019 St. Lawrence River flooding. These initiatives will bolster the region's resilience to extreme weather events, safeguarding key access points and recreational spaces for residents and tourists alike and provide lasting economic benefits.”
Jefferson County Legislature Chairman William Johnson said, “We are pleased to see yet another series of REDI projects complete in Jefferson County. The resiliency projects in Clayton will help to bolster not only the villages economy, but also the vital tourism economy that the region relies on. Thank you to New York State, Governor Kathy Hochul, and the REDI Commission for the continued work and support in Jefferson County.”
Village of Clayton Mayor Norma Zimmer said, “The village of Clayton sincerely appreciates the funding and partnerships made to come to this great conclusion of the REDI projects. Our Mary Street Dock, wave attenuator, and dock at Memorial Park, as well as the upgrades to our WWTP have increased our ability to provide the necessary infrastructure for economic development and increase our ability to accommodate the many boaters that enjoy the opportunities offered at our local restaurants, events, shopping visiting family and friends and a gathering place for our citizens to enjoy the beautiful sunsets. Gratitude to all that have been a part of these projects and we look forward to continuing our relationships.”
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 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 28 projects in the design phase, 25 projects in the construction phase, and 81 projects completed.
For additional information, project profiles and REDI news, click here.
New York State Water Quality Investments
In addition to REDI, New York State is making other record investments to improve water infrastructure and increase water quality. The 2023-24 Enacted Budget includes $500 million in clean water funding, bringing New York State's total investment in clean water infrastructure statewide to $5 billion since 2017. In New York’s Great Lakes Basin, funding - primarily through State Environmental Facilities Corp. - provided approximately $2 billion in both grants (from the Water Infrastructure and Improvement Act and Intermunicipal Grant funds) and low-cost financing to 615 distinct projects of New York State. DEC provided another $258 million for more than 280 projects in the region.
In addition, New York voters approved the $4.2 billion Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act in November 2022. Governor Hochul and the State Legislature increased from $3 billion to a record-setting $4.2 billion to make it the largest environmental bond in state history and the first in New York since 1996. The Bond Act advances historic levels of funding to update aging water infrastructure and protect water quality, strengthen communities' ability to withstand severe storms and flooding, reduce air pollution and lower climate-altering emissions, restore habitats, preserve outdoor spaces and local farms, and ensure equity by investing at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of resources in disadvantaged communities.
In the 2023-24 State of the State, Governor Hochul also launched Community Assistance Teams this year to expand the State Environmental Facilities Corporation’s technical assistance program and help small, rural, and disadvantaged communities leverage this funding to address their clean water infrastructure needs.