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DOS Announces Completion of $750,000 Resiliency Project in Village of Waddington, St. Lawrence County

Secretary of State Robert Rodriquez today announced the completion of the first phase of construction of a resiliency project at the village docks in the village of Waddington, St. Lawrence County. The project was awarded $750,000 in grant funding through the State’s Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI). The New York Power Authority is also contributing over $225,000 to the project’s first phase and additional funding for the coming second phase. The completed improvements will address fluctuating water levels along the St. Lawrence River, as well as increase access to the St. Lawrence River and village downtown for residents and visitors to the region.

“Safe and resilient waterfront access is an essential ingredient for a robust recreational economy in the St. Lawrence region,” said New York Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez. “By improving the village’s docks and enhancing access to the St. Lawrence River, along with the NY Forward Program for the town, the  Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative and continues to invest in the economic security, health, resiliency, and overall quality of life of shoreline communities like the Village of Waddington for generations to come.”     

The village of Waddington is a popular North Country destination, drawing recreational boaters and anglers and hosting many well-attended fishing tournaments, including the Bass Master. The village owns and maintains the floating public dock located on the shoreline of the St. Lawrence River. The public dock is popular with permanent and seasonal residents of the village during boating season, as well as tourists. The village was unable to meet the demand for docking spaces due to spatial restrictions and the public docking was in need of improvements for boater safety and upgrades to meet the demand for additional slips.

Resiliency measures in this project include the installation of a new floating dock system which will allow use of the facility during a range of water levels as well as an expanded docking capacity for the public. The floating docks will be more easily removed during the winter, protecting them from damaging wave action and ice. The improved facilities will also encourage more people to visit downtown Waddington, improving the local economy.    

Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner and REDI Commission Co-Chair Basil Seggos said, “Shoreline communities along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River depend on strong, thriving tourism. During the historic flooding of 2019, many towns and villages were inaccessible to visitors and their downtowns and small businesses were negatively impacted. With Governor Hochul’s support, the REDI Program is benefitting the village of Waddington and other communities by building climate resilient infrastructure that protect and promote the growth of local economies.”

New York Power Authority Acting President and CEO and St. Lawrence County REDI Commissioner Justin E. Driscoll said, “The project we are celebrating today represents the initial phase of an extensive, two-part infrastructure improvement program for Waddington. This project joins other successful REDI projects in improving local recreation opportunities and protecting the St. Lawrence River shoreline. I’m particularly gratified that NYPA is able to provide supplemental funding for this work as part of the licensing review for the St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project.”

Senator Dan Stec said, "The Village of Waddington is a great destination for area residents and visitors alike, and its vital that we do more to enhance recreational opportunities there. The completion of the REDI Village Docks project will help the village meet demand for docking space and ensure that recreational boaters and anglers can continue to utilize our region for years to come." 

Assemblymember Scott Gray said, “The REDI projects continue to improve and enhance access to the wonderful St Lawrence River. The Waddington village docks are popular among anglers and recreational boaters, whether you live or visit here. The new floating dock system will not only ensure more resiliency but will add to the economic value by expanding slip space. The village of Waddington is better equipped to accommodate summer tourist activity because of the REDI investment.” 

Village of Waddington Mayor Mike Zagrobelny said, “The purchase and installation of the new docks at Island View Park in Waddington are a key piece of the puzzle that is transforming Waddington into the destination village in St. Lawrence County and the St. Lawrence River Valley. These improvements will make it easier for residents and visitors to enjoy the arts, recreation, and history that makes Waddington so unique. We are grateful to Governor Hochul and the REDI Commission for recognizing Waddington’s value in New York State and helping to provide the resources to make Waddington and its infrastructure resilient and adaptable to the ever-changing environmental conditions. The new docks double the amount of usable space, providing more room for annual leasing and overnight rentals while providing easier access to docking for visitors from both sides of the river. We are additionally grateful to the New York Power Authority for the continued commitment to providing recreational and economic opportunities. Lastly, the partnership between the Village of Waddington and the Town of Waddington in providing opportunities for growth while maintaining a stable tax base cannot be overstated. That is only possible due to the great work of Waddington’s public employees and our elected boards.”

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, 40 projects in the construction phase, and 56 projects completed.

For additional information, project profiles and REDI news, click here.