Wayne County beaches receive federal funds for flood damage repair

The battered Wayne County beaches and break walls are slated to receive vital fixes, with the help of $4.5 million in federal funding.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said the funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will help repair and rebuild the Charles Point barrier beach break wall that is necessary to protect Sodus Bay and safeguard homes on Charles Point bluff at risk of falling into Lake Ontario.

Schumer also announced a new campaign to repair and restore Wayne County’s other barrier beaches and bays that have been damaged by Lake Ontario’s floods by launching a major push for the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration to quickly approve an upcoming Disaster Recovery grant that Wayne County officials are pursuing. The $1.5 million grant would stabilize and repair Crescent Beach, Blind Sodus and Port Bay.

“Over the past few years, Lake Ontario’s historic flooding has battered Wayne County communities and their bays and harbors including Great Sodus Bay, Blind Sodus and Port Bay, which generate millions of dollars in annual economic output, essentially decimating their local economy,” Schumer said. “It’s clear that nothing short of an all-hands-on-deck approach is absolutely paramount. Although this is a major step in the right direction, the federal government can and must do more to help Wayne County recover, which is why I’m now calling on the EDA to stand ready to approve the county’s $1.5 million Disaster Recovery grant, the necessary step to unlock the $30 million pledged by New York State to repair Crescent Beach, Port Bay and Blind Sodus more resiliently.”

Schumer in 2017 met with Wayne County officials and Charles Point homeowners to begin his push for the U.S. Army Corps to allocate funding to repair the badly damaged Charles Point break wall.

“This is such a huge relief to those of us on Charles Point, and frankly, for all those located on Sodus Bay,” said Eric Depew, a Charles Point resident and former Charles Point Homeowner Association Vice President.

The $1.5 million grant funding would be used to stabilize and repair breaches to Crescent Beach, a 21-mile area of barrier beach shoreline that protects Great Sodus Bay, an area that is home to 45 commercial charter boats, marina businesses and more than 800 boat slips, Schumer wrote in his letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Schumer noted in his letter that the recreational boating industry generates roughly $12.7 million a year in economic activity and supports some 115 jobs.

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