Click to view Story Board (opens in new window) Blind Sodus Bay REDI Project Story Map direct link

Blind Sodus Bay concerns stemmed from the increased storm intensities impacting erosion along the western bluffs and increased wave run up after the change to the lake level management plan. This was just the beginning. Coupled with the increased water levels from 2017-2019 and the intensity of the storm events, the erosion rate increased significantly mainly due to wind and precipitation.

The summer 2016, Lynn Chatfield, Town Supervisor of Wolcott, reached out to the District to see if there were opportunities to address the increased erosion rate over the winter season, while the Town worked on a longer-term plan.  The District utilized hydroseeding technology with a hydro blanket to coat over 120 feet of the bluff face, which lasted almost 4 months through the tough winter season with funding from the Finger Lakes Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance (FLLOWPA) to pay for this critical area seeding effort as an aid to water quality.

The photos below show what the area looked like pre-project and applications used to stabilize a failing bluff.

The Town, in cooperation with MRB Group, was successful in grant writing to be able to protect the sewer main and 220 feet of the bluff face with a vertical gabion wall.  These funds came from both Federal and State sources. The initial project was completed in the 4th quarter of 2019.

At the same time, the increasing storm systems were eroding away the protective barrier bar to the Blind Sodus Bay beginning in 2017 and finally completely washing away in 2019 high water; directly impacting the homes around this waterbody. Several of the homes on the eastern side of Blind Sodus Bay lost significant amounts of land due to the Lake Ontario like waves in the Bay. While individual landowners scrambled to find the protection, the impact of the waves and wind continued; losing trees and additional land due to sluffing.

During that time, the REDI initiative was prioritizing projects. The REDI Commission and local leadership, including the Town and Blind Sodus Bay Improvement Association, prioritized and ranked many shoreline projects that have an economic and environmental impact on the community. Blind Sodus Bay’s Barrier Bar Complex was ranked #37 of 132 shoreline projects.

Wayne County agreed to take on the project, November 2019 and contracted with Wayne County Soil & Water Conservation District to manage the project due to the partial private and partial State-owned land affiliated with the project.

Below are the most recently developed documents to support this project that began in January of 2020 and has worked through all the turmoil of a pandemic. These REDI projects have milestones and a guidance document to guide the actions of the planning process.

The first milestone was the 10% Professional Engineer Report written in February 2020 that was recommended by RAMBOLL Engineering, Rochester, (the company awarded by New York State Office of General Services (NYSGOS) for a flood resiliency report.) This report advanced the project as a priority to expedite the review of the potential scenarios. This report was finalized in April. The District was also reviewing the other project assigned at Port Bay and realized quickly it was imperative to address the specific project needs.

Next, two consultant engineering firms were selected after a thorough procurement process; MRB Group for the Western Bluff and Barton and Loguidice for the Eastern Barrier Bar.  Both projects are fortunate to have these professional engineers as they have previous knowledge of the area and type of work to be completed.  In order to make sure this system would work accordingly, additional study and review of these areas were needed to come up with an alternatives analysis that would meet the needs of the regulatory review for environmental safety and security.

The State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) is a stipulation enacted by the state of New York that all local and state government agencies must uniformly reflect the environmental impacts when considering taking social and/or economic factors into action. Read more about the  SEQRA process (Click here)

The District is proud to announce, the consultant teams, agency partners at NYS Department of Office of General Services (OGS), NYS Department of State (DOS), NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Dormitory Authority of NYS (DASNY) – the funder,  the REDI Commission, Blind Sodus Bay Improvement Association and the District have completed the final part of the SEQRA Act requirements for environmental equality and are now working through scenario modeling with a goal of completing 90% by the end of 2021.


Comments may be made on this project by emailing Lindsey Gerstenslager, District Manager (and Project Manager) at Lindsey@WayneNYswcd.org Subject line: REDI Blind Sodus Bay SEQR Comments. Final comments for SEQR will end 10/22/2021 and will be incorporated with the Permitting Process and 90% package.


REDI projects in Wayne County, NY

    • CRESCENT BEACH PROJECT  facilitated by Wayne County Public Works
    • BLIND SODUS BAY, Bluff and Barrier Bar System – WCSWCD collaborating with Wayne County as a general contractor
    • PORT BAY, Barrier Bar System – WCSWCD collaborating with Wayne County as a general contractor