State Officials Provide Update on REDI Shoreline Projects

"We really have to recognize is the new normal."

Brendan Keany
November 13, 2019 - 3:25 pm

(WBEN Photo/Brendan Keany)

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BARKER (WBEN) - On Wednesday afternoon, state officials joined the Niagara and Orleans Counties REDI planning committee to showcase the recently awarded flood resiliency projects for the region.

Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative

"The recent challenge of historic high water levels along the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shorelines calls for a swift and innovative response, and today I am announcing REDI projects in Niagara and Orleans counties that will create long-term sustainability for communities and businesses," Governor Cuomo said back on an October 23 press conference. "I directed 11 state agencies to mobilize their expertise and assess a portfolio of community-driven actions that will sustainably protect and enhance the region's infrastructure, habitats, and local economies. Working together, our Empire State experts and stakeholders came up with 20 projects in these counties that will help the region regain resiliency and economic vibrancy." 

Through the $300 million funding intitiative, Niagara and Orleans Counties are receiving $49 million.

"With the threat of climate change, because it is no longer a threatm it is reality, and the unprecedented shoreline damage and water levels is something we really have to recognize is the new normal," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

Listen to Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Erik Kullesaid discuss the projects and funding below:

Tom Carestia is a shoreline homeowner in Somerset, and while he's thankful for the investment the state is making, he believes the real root of the problem is the IJC.

"Really, it's just since they put the IJC in charge of the lake levels that we've run into issues," he said. "Prior to that, it's been very very minimal erosion on the property, and now that they've gotten the IJC involved, over the last three years we've had dramatic erosion down there."

Listen to his full comments below:

Listen to the full press conference below:

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