NY Sea Grant, Cornell University to Survey High Water Impact

By Kara Lynn Dunn, New York Sea Grant

To help Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River communities document the impact of record-breaking water levels, New York Sea Grant awarded rapid response funding to Cornell University to develop and conduct high water impact surveys.

One survey is for property owners along or connected to New York’s Lake Ontario shoreline; the other is for the New York side of the St. Lawrence River. 

The surveys are available at www.nyseagrant.org/waterlevel2017.

The data will be used to identify the types of impact and most vulnerable areas to flooding events. Reporting of results will be on combined measures and will not identify individual addresses.

Left: High water in Clayton, New York, at Cedar Point State Park; right: road flooding in Cape Vincent, New York
Left: High water in Clayton, New York, at Cedar Point State Park; right: road flooding in Cape Vincent, New York. Credit: NYSG/Mary Austerman

“This survey effort is in response to stakeholder requests for a standardized method to collect, report, and document the impacts of high water levels on waterfront properties, including erosion, damage to natural and manmade shoreline protective features, and business disruption,” said Mary Austerman, a coastal community development specialist with New York Sea Grant.

Austerman is collaborating on the surveys with Cornell University Assistant Professor of Biological and Environmental Engineering Dr. Scott Steinschneider and Cornell University Professor of Natural Resources Dr. Richard C. Stedman.

Survey responses will be accepted through Aug. 31, 2017. For more information, project leader Mary Austerman can be reached at 315-331-8415, mp357@cornell.edu or visit the New York Sea Grant Facebook page.

 Left and right: High water in the Sodus Bay, New York

Left and right: High water in the Sodus Bay, New York, area. Credit: NYSG/Mary Austerman

Residents of the Sodus Bay area along the southern shore of Lake Ontario pilot tested the survey.

New York Sea Grant is a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York, and one of 33 university-based programs under the National Sea Grant College Program of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. New York Sea Grant maintains Great Lakes regional offices in Buffalo, Newark and Oswego.

For updates on New York Sea Grant activities statewide, see www.nyseagrant.org.

Kara Lynn Dunn is a publicist for the New York Sea Grant Great Lakes Program.

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