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$7.5 million secured for repairs to Barcelona Harbor in Chautauqua County

Photo credit U.S. Sen Chuck Schumer's Office

Posted on February 21, 2024

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was joined by Congressman Nick Langworthy (NY-23) and other local officials on Monday to reveal $7.5 million of secured federal funds as part of the Senate’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 appropriations bills to make long overdue repairs to Barcelona Harbor in Chautauqua County.

The senator says the funding 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, which is critical for local tourism and jobs that rely on the harbor in Westfield.

“Barcelona Harbor is one of the true gems of Chautauqua County – and a hub of its vibrant tourist economy – but the failing West breakwater allowing sediment to wash in threatens residents’ harbor use and the local tourism economy,” said Sen. Schumer on Monday. “In 2022, I secured the funding needed to finally get dredging underway at Barcelona Harbor, and now I am here to say I have secured $7.5 million in additional funding to ensure the restoration of Barcelona Harbor can go full steam ahead. Now as we enter final budget negotiations, I will be fighting to protect this funding, navigate the choppy waters and deliver this funding in the final appropriations bills for Chautauqua County to finally repair the Barcelona Harbor breakwater.”

“The Barcelona Harbor is the lifeblood of our community, serving as a vital hub for economic activity and recreation along Lake Erie’s coastline, though severe degradation threatens this way of life,” said Rep. Langworthy on Monday. “I want to thank to Senator Schumer, County Executive Wendel, and other local officials for their invaluable collaboration to maintain and restore this crucial asset, including our work to ensure dredging was complete before least year’s summer season. I’m proud to advocate for an additional $6 million in federal resources to complete a needed breakwall to protect the harbor, which passed as part of the House’s Energy and Water Appropriations bill last October. Working together to preserve Barcelona Harbor means protecting the livelihoods of the people and businesses who rely on it in Western New York and the Southern Tier.”

The design of these repairs will analyze if future work is needed to modify the structure, building up or out, to better alleviate the excessive sedimentation in the channel. Schumer says 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 vowed to deliver 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, Schumer also secured $500,000 for the Chautauqua Lake Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration project through the USACE. This funding would 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 is seeking to partner with the USACE to remediate water quality and other hydrological impairments of Chautauqua Lake, and seeks to 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.


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