Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D/WFP-Tompkins/Cortland) announced she has secured $2 million in the final state budget to help implement a joint city of Ithaca/Tompkins County waterfront revitalization plan to dredge Cayuga Inlet, the Flood Control Channel, Fall Creek, Cascadilla Creek and Six Mile Creek.
“The waterway is impassable and must be cleared in order for boats to use Ithaca Harbor,” Lifton said. “The funding I secured will improve the environment by removing sediment and making the waterway navigable, and jumpstarting initiatives to increase tourism and business in the Finger Lakes.”
Dredging the Flood Control Channel is partially funded under the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Environmental Protection Fund’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.
City of Ithaca Mayor Carolyn Peterson said Lifton’s efforts were vital to the project’s success. “On behalf of the City of Ithaca, I wish to thank Assemblywoman Lifton for shepherding the requests for dredging funding through the state budget process,” Peterson said. “Assemblywoman Lifton understands that the city needs support – for planning, environmental review and actual commencement of the dredging – in order to undertake this monumental, multi-million dollar project. The city is extremely pleased for this support.”
When completed the project will:
- Increase drainage in the Flood Control Channel and reduce flooding in adjacent and upstream neighborhoods;
- Restore navigation through the Flood Control Channel, adjacent waterways and marinas they serve;
- Promote municipal waterfront redevelopment; and
- Improve waterfront amenities.
“Though this year’s budget was negotiated during tight financial times, I fought for the waterfront funding because of the project’s benefits,” Lifton said. “Dredging will have a positive effect on the environment and help the economy grow.”