Governor Cuomo is trying to drive more tourists into Oswego and the Lake Ontario region in hopes of boosting the area’s economy after persistent spring and early summer flooding. Turns out the fishing season is one of the best in years, and Cuomo took advantage by chartering a fishing boat Thursday.
He and Attorney General Letitia James caught two king salmon. Cuomo says now they just need to get the word out about what the area has to offer.
"In the midst of what we're dealing with, we want to promote tourism, especially around Lake Ontario because of the situation and the hardship. The state is going to do a number of things to increase and incentivize tourism in the area."
First, you won’t need a fishing license to cast a line into Lake Ontario from now until Labor Day. Admission and camping fees to the area’s 20 state parks will be cut in half. The state will also invest $5 million in the Salmon River Hatchery. And, an “I Love New York” ad is running across the northeast and Canada spotlighting Lake Ontario. It all comes as the area rebuilds after the flooding. Cuomo says instead of handling it as a one-time emergency, the state is taking the longer view.
"Just assume the higher levels [of water]. So, marinas are built higher. Breakwalls are built higher. Waterfront structures are protected. Assume this record level will happen again."
The state is investing $300 million to prepare for what he calls "the new normal" as part of the Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative. Cuomo says they’re looking to local leaders to tell the state what investments they want and how to spur economic development in the region.