CLAYTON, N.Y. (WWTI) — It was only three years ago when waves came crashing over seawalls, into houses and onto streets surrounding Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

This was when record-breaking flooding wreaked havoc in the North Country in 2019, following a previous flooding event in 2017.

As communities are still recovering from these haunting sights, New York State is continuing its Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative, with four new projects beginning in Clayton.

This includes individual projects focusing on the Clayton Riverwalk, refurbishing docks at the Mary Street Boat Launch, reconstructing the main village dock and work on the 1000 Islands Regional Dock.

According to Governor Hochul, this will help bolster the local economy and enhance Clayton’s resiliency.

“We want to make sure everything is protected,” Governor Hochul said during her press conference. “We’re focusing on our boating community infrastructure. And also again, making sure that we can withstand the effects of climate change.

Attending the press conference were various state and local officials, including Department of Environmental Commissioner Basil Seggos and Clayton Mayor Norma Zimmer.

Both Seggos and Zimmer praised Governor Hochul as they said these projects will help protect the riverside town in the event of another natural disaster.

“We are experiencing changes to our environment and we need the resources to rebound and prepare for the future,” Commissioner Seggos emphasized. “That is what today is about.”

“Without [Governor Hochul] we would not have what’s out here, any place in Clayton right now,” Mayor Zimmer added. “It’s been a great, great partnership.

And Governor Hochul confirmed following the press conference that work on this $8.6 million investment will begin immediately.

“As a Governor who knows this area so well, I know it needs to be done,” Governor Hochul shared. “The community has been waiting long enough and we’re going to get moving very quickly.”

More information on the progress of REDI projects can be found on the New York website.