Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand, Langworthy Announce $7.5 Million Protected & Passed In Long-Awaited Repairs To Barcelona Harbor Breakwater In FY24 Spending Bills; Fed Funding Will Get Much-Needed Repairs Underway To Boost Harbor Vital To Chautauqua County’s Tourism Economy

Mar 15, 2024

On Heels Of Launching Push To Protect These Vital Fed $$ In Final Appropriations Bills, Schumer, Gillibrand, Langworthy Are Delivering Funding To Repair Damaged Breakwater And Get Rid Of Years Of Sediment Build-Up To Boost Chautauqua County’s Vibrant Summer Tourist Economy

New Funding Builds On The Millions Delivered In 2022 For Dredging Across Chautauqua County, Including Barcelona, Cattaraugus Creek, & Dunkirk Harbors

Schumer, Gillibrand, Langworthy: Repairs To The Breakwater Can Now Go Full Steam Ahead So Chautauqua Tourism Economy Can Thrive For Years To Come!

After launching push to protect this funding earlier this month on the shores of Barcelona Harbor, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and U.S. Congressman Nick Langworthy today announced they have protected & passed the $7.5 million in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 appropriations bills to make long overdue repairs to Barcelona Harbor. The representatives said the funding they secured will allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to help restore the Harbor to full functionality by repairing the west breakwater, evaluating sediment management measures, and dredging the harbor, critical for the local tourism and jobs that rely on the harbor in Westfield.

“With the $7.5 million I am delivering today, it’s smooth waters ahead for Barcelona Harbor! Barcelona Harbor is one of the crown jewels of Chautauqua County – and a hub of its vibrant tourist economy – and this much-needed federal funding is ensuring the restoration of Barcelona Harbor can go full steam ahead so the harbor can continue to serve the community,” said Senator Schumer. “In 2022, I secured the funding needed to finally get dredging underway at Barcelona Harbor, and now I am here once again to say that I have navigated Chautauqua County through choppy waters and am delivering these millions to begin repairing the Barcelona Harbor breakwater and ensure the success of local businesses and the community that rely on the harbor for years to come.”

“This $7.5 million investment will enhance Barcelona Harbor and spark new growth in Chautauqua County,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I have long supported restoring Barcelona Harbor, and secured funding to dredge the harbor back in 2022. With this new funding, more long-awaited repairs can begin to improve the functionality of the harbor and boost tourism in the region. I am proud to have secured this funding and will continue to advocate for funding for Barcelona Harbor.” 

“I’m proud to advocate for Barcelona Harbor and secure this much-needed funding in the House,” said Rep. Langworthy. “With $7.5 million allocated for critical repairs, we’re not just fixing infrastructure; we’re investing in the future of our local economy. By addressing sedimentation and repairing critical infrastructure, we’re ensuring Barcelona Harbor remains integral to commerce, tourism, and recreation in our region, driving sustained growth for Chautauqua County for years to come.”

Schumer, Gillibrand, and Langworthy explained through their direct advocacy, $7.5 million was secured in federal funding in the Senate’s FY 2024 Energy and Water Development appropriations bill for USACE to begin design and construction of the west breakwater. Specifically, the money will go towards dredging, designing, repairing and upgrading the west breakwater which has deteriorated and is showing signs of instability and voiding in the sheet steel pile cells, contributing to a continuous cycle of sediment and debris build up. The design will also analyze if future work is needed to modify the structure, building up or out, to better alleviate the excessive sedimentation in the channel. The representatives said the sediment build-up poses a threat to boater safety, as it offers the only Harbor of Refuge along 47 miles of Lake Erie shoreline, and impacts the community’s economy, which depends on the waterway. Schumer is delivering these critical Army Corps of Engineers dollars at the behest of Chautauqua County so USACE can repair the breakwater for this federally-maintained waterway for the long-term and ensure the economic health of the community.

In addition to the funding for Barcelona Harbor, the representatives also secured $500,000 for the Chautauqua Lake Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration project through the USACE. This funding will begin the reconnaissance phase of a feasibility study for the Chautauqua Lake Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Project, which was authorized in the Water Resourced Development Act of 2018 that Schumer also delivered for the community. Chautauqua County will partner with the USACE to remediate water quality and other hydrological impairments of Chautauqua Lake, and collaborate on a feasibility study to assess potential aquatic ecosystem restoration, flood mitigation, sedimentation and shoreline remediation, watershed erosion, and water recreation projects for Chautauqua Lake.

The representatives have long advocated for Chautauqua County on the federal level, delivering funding and pushing for proper maintenance of Barcelona Harbor, which was dredged last summer. Schumer and Gillibrand secured $1,150,000 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge and study-design breakwater improvements in Barcelona Harbor in the bipartisan omnibus spending package for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, as a part of over $10 million in funding for dredging and various projects across Chautauqua County waterways. In 2021, after a series of storms, Schumer and Gillibrand personally called on the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to direct funding towards an emergency dredging of Barcelona Harbor. In December of 2016, a little over a year after Lake Erie’s waters severely damaged the harbor’s break wall, Schumer successfully secured $650,000 for the Army Corps of Engineers to repair the wall. In 2014, the senator urged the Army Corps of Engineers to finish fully dredging six Upstate New York harbors back to pre-storm conditions, including Barcelona Harbor, that were eligible for supplemental appropriations tied to Hurricane Sandy. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand urged the Army Corps of Engineers to allocate $750,000 in funding in the FY 2021 work plan for Barcelona Harbor Maintenance Dredging.