Assemblyman Otis and Senator Mayer Thank U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer for Securing Federal Funding for Army Corps River Project in Mamaroneck

Shelley B. Mayer

October 08, 2021

Mamaroneck, N.Y. – New York State Assemblyman Steve Otis (AD – 91) and State Senator Shelley Mayer (SD – 37) today applauded U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer for his announcement securing $1.5 billion in federal supplemental funding to accelerate and fast track Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) construction projects impacted by Hurricane Ida, including the “Mamaroneck and Sheldrake River Flood Risk Management Project.”

In a joint statement, Senator Mayer and Assemblyman Otis stated, “This is the action we needed to restart this project that is vital to reducing flood risk in the village of Mamaroneck. Senator Schumer was with us here in Mamaroneck in September, and his effort to advance funding is greatly appreciated by everyone in the village. This news means that decades of cooperation among the federal, state, county and the village on this plan are going to move forward.”

Senator Schumer’s actions not only restart the project that was stalled by the Trump Administration but also advance the project’s funding to speed up the process. The Senator also indicated that this means the project could receive the federal funding ASAP, bypassing several of the bureaucratic hiccups that have stalled construction for years.  The projects are estimated to cost approximately $80 million, with the village, county, state and federal governments all   contributing to the total cost. The largest share will be funded by the Army Corp.

Senator Mayer added, “I am so pleased with the announcement that Senate Majority Leader Schumer, together with his colleagues, secured $1.5 billion in federal supplemental funding to expedite this critical project for Mamaroneck as designed by the Army Corps of Engineers. The flood damage caused by Hurricane Ida in the Village of Mamaroneck to residents and businesses alike was absolutely devastating, and we cannot wait longer to find solutions and approaches to reduce this risk in future storms. As this project moves ahead, I will continue to fight for enhanced attention and additional funding from New York State to address the impact of flooding on all our communities. It will take all of us working together to ensure we do not have this kind of catastrophe again.”

Assemblyman Otis commented, “I have advocated for the restart of this project since it was halted by the Trump Administration and have supported it in the Assembly and earlier, when I served on the Westchester County Flood Action Task Force over a decade ago. Mamaroneck continues to be the most flood vulnerable community in the county. We need this project and must help all municipalities advance flood mitigation projects they bring forward.”

The Mamaroneck Sheldrake project has taken years to design and evaluate with efforts by the village going back decades. The professional staff at the Army Corps of Engineers consistently reported that given the cost-benefit analysis for this project, the project was well positioned to go forward. However, the Project was stopped by the Trump administration despite strong support from the ACE evaluators.  The Village of Mamaroneck had previously received federal approval for a flood mitigation project along the Mamaroneck and Sheldrake rivers in the fall of 2018. When the project was blocked, local and state officials requested an explanation from these Federal agencies regarding their actions and analysis.

In September, Otis and Mayer accompanied Majority Leader Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, Governor Hochul and Congressman Bowman on a tour of the flood damaged areas in Mamaroneck. The village has detailed the impact and response by Mamaroneck where residents reported several feet of water in their homes and were forced to evacuate and seek shelter: over 150 water rescues, 535 flooded homes, 1,000 people displaced, and 310 abandoned cars. The Village has reported over $18M in damages and over $75M in residential and commercial damage. 

Upon completion, the Project would reduce flood risk for the Mamaroneck and Sheldrake River Basins and protect residents and business owners by constructing retaining walls and diverting flood water through culvert to prevent the merging of waters from the two rivers in a storm event. The project would also enable the deepening and widening of river channels, elevate structures, and remove/replace 2 vehicular bridges that constrict flood flow. The plan is estimated to potentially reduce average annual damages by approximately 87 percent and help reduce the risk of loss of life.

Senator Mayer and Assemblyman Otis are working closely with our federal officials, Governor Hochul, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos, Mamaroneck Mayor Tom Murphy, County Executive George Latimer and County Legislator Catherine Parker on this shared project.