U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $1,396,687.61 in federal funding for critical repairs to the River Walk West in the city of Oswego. The federal funds are administered through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and will be used to restore Oswego’s River Walk West, which has been severely damaged by flooding that took place on Lake Ontario in 2017 and 2019.
“The flooding of Lake Ontario in 2017 and again this year has devastated shoreline communities and recreational spaces such as Oswego’s River Walk and the regional economy right alongside it,” said Senator Schumer. “This funding is a critical investment that will help the City of Oswego restore the River Walk’s shoreline, improve its resiliency to future extreme weather events and ensure the lakeshore economy continues to thrive.”
“This funding will help the City of Oswego rebuild its River Walk after the facilities were destroyed by extreme flooding from Lake Ontario,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This flooding has severely damaged homes, businesses, and infrastructure along Lake Ontario’s shoreline, and investments like these are critical to rebuilding our communities. I’m proud to announce this funding and I will always fight to make sure the communities along Lake Ontario have the resources necessary to recover from the flood damage they’ve suffered.”
“This funding will allow for the full repair of the west linear walkway, an important piece to Oswego’s waterfront. While the high water levels along Lake Ontario remain a challenge and continue to Cause new damage, we are appreciative of the funding made available to repair this popular walkway and will continue to address other areas of damage moving forward,” said Mayor of Oswego William J. Barlow, Jr.
The shoreline of Lake Ontario was declared a major disaster in 2017 after extreme flooding caused severe damage in the spring and summer of that year, making communities like Oswego eligible for FEMA assistance. Extreme flooding has again plagued the Lake Ontario shoreline in 2019 and the senators said this funding will help repair the damage along Oswego’s River Walk West.
FEMA provided this funding through its Public Assistance Grant Program (PA), which provides grants to government organizations and private nonprofit organizations after an official major disaster declaration. The purpose of PA is to help communities recover from and respond to disasters and emergencies quickly. The PA is authorized under Section 406 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.