Modified: December 21, 2021 10:24am
The Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry (“Parks”) has announced the closure of the Times Beach Nature Preserve after last weekend’s (December 11-12) windy weather and the seiche it created caused damage to the Preserve’s trails, creating safety concerns and forcing the Preserve’s closure to the public. This is the latest of several weather-related closures of Times Beach due to seiche events since the October 2019 storm. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) recently approved two projects at the site related to that storm that will aid in the removal of debris and replacement of some of the Preserve’s boardwalk, which has all been destroyed.
Additionally, a $500,000 grant from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (“DASNY”) State Municipal Facilities Program was secured in late 2018 by then-NYS Assemblyman (now NYS Senator, 60th District) Sean Ryan for capital improvements to the site. The Erie County Department of Environment and Planning and the Friends of Times Beach prepared the successful application. The funding will now be applied to a Coastal Resiliency Study being prepared to better protect the site from future seiche damage.
“The Times Beach Nature Preserve is a beautiful but fragile ecosystem and is highly vulnerable to bad weather, due to its location. The site has taken a beating over the past few years from wind and waves every time we have severe weather and has been either partly or fully closed at various times during that span,” said Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Troy P. Schinzel. “For safety reasons we will now be closing Times Beach until further notice. In the spring our Department plans to work with the Friends of Times Beach to explore clean ups that could result in certain trails within Times Beach being opened to the public once again. I also want to thank NYS Senator Ryan for helping to secure this grant funding, which will be critical to protecting times beach in the future.”
“In 2018, we secured $500,000 in DASNY funding to pay for much-needed capital improvement projects at Times Beach Nature Preserve. After a series of destructive storms that have necessitated its closure, the site’s priorities have shifted dramatically,” said NYS Senator Sean Ryan. “As we work to ensure that Times Beach can reopen safely, using the DASNY money to fund a coastal resiliency study will help protect it from sustaining damage of this magnitude in the future.”
For more information:
On the Erie County Parks Department, visit https://www3.erie.gov/parks/
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