SYRACUSE, NY – Congressman John Katko announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will provide funding for vital dredging at the Port of Oswego.
The recently allocated funds will allow the harbor of the Port of Oswego to be sufficiently dredged to its functional channel depths.
“As the only deep water port on the U.S. shores of Lake Ontario, the Port of Oswego is a critical asset for attracting new economic growth opportunities in Oswego County and across Central New York,” said Rep. Katko. “I have been in close contact with the Army Corps of Engineers in Buffalo and appreciate their efforts to make this project a reality. Dredging the shallow waterways of the harbor will allow more ships to navigate the port and provide an enormous boost to our regional economy.”
In 2014, the Army Corps of Engineers began dredging of the Port of Oswego in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
The recently completed dredging brought Oswego Harbor back to pre-storm conditions, removing large deposits of sediment which had rendered shipping lanes unusable.
For the current fiscal year, $1.285 million dollars has been allotted for further dredging of the Port of Oswego to bring the harbor to its functional channel depths.
Additionally, work to restore the detached Oswego Breakwater will begin this summer to repair impact from Hurricane Sandy.
Each day, sediment settles at the bottom of Lake Ontario, reducing water depth and creating safety hazards for shipping barges, cargo ships, and recreational boats – all of which help pump millions of dollars into the local economy.
Current low water levels in Lake Ontario, combined with the buildup of sediment, have made the Port too shallow for many ships to carry full loads into the harbor.
This investment will allow more ships to come in and unload goods, stimulating economic growth and job creation in the area.
On March 11, Rep. Katko hosted a widely attended listening session in the city of Oswego focused on creating a more economically viable Oswego and Central New York. He was joined by a number of local economic and community partners in Oswego County, including Zelko Kirincich, executive director of the Port of Oswego.
At the listening session, Kirincich said, “The harbor has too long been threatened by shallow waterways that restrict access for ships navigating the port. The future success of Oswego is dependent upon providing an attractive location for investment. Dredging the port will keep us at peak efficiency, keeping the waterway open for business and setting the stage for local economic growth. The Port of Oswego has the potential to renew and continue to develop the waterfront to promote both business and our community, and we have a strong partner in Rep. John Katko.”