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For Release: Tuesday, July 26, 2022

DEC Announces Groundbreaking of Flood Resiliency Project in Monroe County

$488,000 Awarded to Town of Parma to Mitigate Flooding as Part State's $300 Million Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative

Elevation of Flood-Prone Roadway will Enhance Public Safety and Reduce Further Deterioration

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the start of construction of a $488,000 resiliency project, the first of three flood mitigation projects awarded to the town of Parma, Monroe County, through the State's Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI) (leaves DEC website). Portions of the Wautoma Beach Road are low lying and prone to flooding during high water events. As a result, sections of the roadway have deteriorated, becoming hazardous and creating a pathway for floodwaters to inundate neighboring properties. The completed project will provide improvements and protection against future flooding while reducing further damage of the roadway.

"The consequences of climate change are evident in repeated flooding and devastation along the shores of Lake Ontario," said DEC Commissioner and REDI Co-Chair Seggos. "With the ongoing support of Governor Kathy Hochul, New York State agencies and local governments are working hand-in-hand through the REDI program to strategically improve and upgrade damage or at-risk infrastructure. The Wautoma Beach Road work will ensure the town of Parma is better prepared for future high-water events."

Proposed mitigation measures for this project include elevating low-lying sections of the roadway approximately two feet above flood level (250 feet), improving stormwater collection and drainage facilities, and providing shoulder protection and stabilization at portions of the road prone to storm surges and wave action.

New York State Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, "New York State is committed to improving resilience to extreme weather events and protecting the health and safety of its residents and visitors. Through the REDI program, we are helping Lake Ontario communities revitalize their waterfronts and strengthen resiliency against future flooding. The elevation of this flood-prone roadway in the town of Parma will ensure safe transportation on this essential thoroughfare, providing significant benefits to residents along this stretch of shoreline."

State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, "It is critical we invest in projects that make our communities more resilient. Weather patterns are changing due to a warming world and the type of flooding sustained along the lake isn't going away. This project will protect the residents of Parma from future flooding. We must invest now in this work to protect ourselves in the coming years."

Senator Jeremy Cooney said, "The Wautoma Beach Road neighborhood residents will be better equipped against high water events thanks to the Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative's flooding mitigation project providing the necessary structural improvements. I am grateful for REDI's work in our Greater Rochester region and look forward to their future projects, building resilience across upstate New York."

Assemblyman Josh Jensen said, "I am thankful that residents on Wautoma Beach Road will soon see these much-needed infrastructure improvements which will mitigate flooding during high water events. It is crucial that the state continues to support and invest in helping communities and residents protect their shoreline from the threat of high water."

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said, "Our shoreline communities have faced significant challenges in the recent years, highlighting the importance of finding sustainable solutions that boost shoreline resiliency and fight climate change. Along Wautoma Beach Road, the devastatingly high levels of Lake Ontario in 2019 not only damaged properties, but also proved to be a clear danger to public safety by preventing emergency vehicles from accessing the neighborhood. I'm grateful to New York State and the Monroe County Resilience and Economic Development Initiative Commission for recognizing the critical needs of the residents of Wautoma Beach Road and for taking action to help protect the long-term health of this lakeshore community and the quality of life of its residents."

Town of Parma Supervisor James Roose said, "We are excited to see another transformative REDI project get underway. The improvements being made to Wautoma Beach Road will mitigate the effects of future highwater events, helping the town of Parma to be better prepared when the water levels of Lake Ontario rise."

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.

Visit the Governor's website for additional information, project profiles and REDI news.

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