Working to Rebuild Our Shoreline Communities

Patty Ritchie

September 08, 2017


Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column

Along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, people are still working to pick up the pieces in the wake of recent, record flooding.  

In an effort to lend a helping hand in the recovery process, I was pleased to cosponsor legislation that established the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence Seaway Flood Relief and Recovery Grant Program, which provides $45 million in funding to impacted homeowners—including seasonal homeowners—farms, not-for-profits, small businesses and municipalities. This program builds upon the $22 million made available by New York State in May.

Over the summer months, I partnered with local communities, government agencies and Neighbors of Watertown, Inc., to host workshops designed for area residents to learn more about the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence Seaway Flood Relief and Recovery Grant Program and have questions about the program answered.  If you were unable to attend those workshops, I put together a short video from one of them, which is available on my website,

If you haven’t applied for funding yet, you still have time. The deadline for Central and Northern New Yorkers to submit an application is Friday, September 29th.  For more information, you can contact Neighbors of Watertown by visiting, or by calling (315) 782-8497. Small businesses in need of assistance to help offset losses are encouraged to contact Empire State Development by calling (518) 292-5348 or by visiting

I know how devastating the damage done by high water has been for so many people in our region. That’s why my colleagues and I worked to provide this funding—and that’s why we’ll continue to work to see that every person impacted gets the help they need to rebuild and protect their property for the future.  To stay up to date on my efforts, please visit