Blind Sodus Bay Western Bluff REDI Project

Blind Sodus Bay REDI project. Click to read the story of the project.

Blind Sodus Bay Western Bluff 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.

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.

  • In 2020, the first milestone was the 10% Professional Engineer Report 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.
  • The District was  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 worked through the scenario modeling and completed at the end of 2021.
  • 2021- July the Western Bluff REDI project  designed by MRB Group was approved.
  • In July 2022 the District submitted its Joint Application.pdf to the DEC and USACE and obtained approval in September .
  • In late September 2022 the contract was bid and Martin’s Tidesides was awarded the contract for the western bluff and work began shortly after.
  • The hope is by Memorial Day 2022 the bluff vegetation/erosion control will be seeded.


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 photos below show the progress to stabilize the failing bluff.

May 28th, 2023 Update

Comments may be made on this project by emailing Lindsey Gerstenslager, District Manager (and Project Manager) at Subject line: REDI Blind Sodus Bay Western Bluff .


REDI projects in Wayne County, NY

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