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NY Sea Grant Great Lakes Shoreline Erosion How-To Expertise, Guidebook, Virtual Site Visits, Contractor List Available for Fall

At left: This rock rip-rap
wall was installed to prevent shoreline erosion along Lake Ontario. Incorporating additional nature-based methods would improve stability of the wall to withstand storm waves. Photo: New York Sea Grant/Roy Widrig


 Oswego, N.Y.: September 30, 2020.  The fall season is an ideal time to evaluate shoreline properties along New York's Great Lakes for areas impacted by the natural dynamic action of the Lakes. New York Sea Grant is providing property owners with virtually-available resources and assistance that include:


. a guide to Erosion Management for New York's Great Lakes Shorelines;

. a virtual access portal at www.nyseagrant.org/glcoastalvirtualsitevisit, where property owners can upload photos of areas of erosion, wave action, and flooding along Lake Erie and Lake Ontario for evaluation and advisement by New York Sea Grant (NYSG) Great Lakes Coastal Processes and Hazards Specialist Roy Widrig, author of the Erosion Management for New York's Great Lakes Shorelines guide. There is no cost for the review;

. an updated list of contractors available for shoreline erosion project work in New York's Great Lakes region and guidelines for how to select a shoreline project contractor; and

. several publications on coastal erosion processes and impacts, living shorelines, and manmade structures for erosion management.

"There is a full array of protection options that can be applied to address shoreline integrity issues. Each property, however, is a unique situation and these resources from New York Sea Grant help property owners and managers determine which option or combination of practices best suits their circumstances," said Widrig.

New York Sea Grant is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York. It maintains Great Lakes offices in Buffalo, Newark, and Oswego. For more information, visit the website at www.nyseagrant.org.


Lake Ontario Parcel-Level Flood Risk Prediction Tool

Flooding along Lake Ontario in 2017.
Photo: Coastal Flooding Survey Project, Cornell University/
New York Sea Grant
Learn More in August 20, 2020 Webinar Presented by NY Sea Grant and Cornell Professor 

Ithaca, N.Y.; July 29, 2020.  On Thursday, August 20, 2020, New York Sea Grant will offer a free, 12-1 PM ET, webinar with Scott Steinschneider, Ph.D., of the Cornell University Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, detailing a parcel-level flood forecast risk management tool he has developed for use by communities along Lake Ontario and its embayments. The webinar will be presented via Zoom: www.nyseagrant.org and Facebook Live: www.facebook.com/nyseagrant.

Lake Ontario has experienced two record-setting floods over the course of three years: 2017-2019. With funding from New York Sea Grant, Steinschneider has developed an inundation prediction model for rapid flood forecasting at weekly to monthly timescales.

The model was developed with input from stakeholders that included reports and photos of the 2017 Lake Ontario flood damage to manmade structures and natural features; shoreline, bluff and dune erosion; septic and well impact; and power outages.

"The goal of this prediction tool is to provide community planners and property owners with a parcel-level assessment of future flood risk to enhance local short-term preparedness planning and to help inform short-term emergency response," Steinschneider said.

"Dr. Steinschneider's flodd risk prediction model is part of New York Sea Grant's ongoing resiliency-building effort to create science-based resources to help Great Lakes shoreline stakeholders better prepare and respond to extreme weather, high water, and intense wave action from storm events," said New York Sea Grant Associate Director Katherine Bunting-Howarth, Ph.D., J.D., assistant director of Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Other New York Sea Grant flood risk management and coastal resiliency-building resources for Lake Ontario shoreline stakeholders are available at www.nyseagrant.org/waterlevel2017. They include:
.  New York's Great Lakes Coastal Resilience Index, a community-level self-assessment tool for municipal leaders, local planners, engineers, flood plain managers and others to guide resiliency planning to manage coastal hazards and weather events; authored by New York Sea Grant Coastal Community Development Specialist Mary Austerman;

.  an interactive, parcel-level inundation mapping tool;

.  an online story story with aerial photos of the 2017 flooding impact along Lake Ontario from Braddock Bay west of Rochester to Stony Creek near the mouth of the St. Lawrence River;

. a photo gallery with images from 32 communities across the seven-county Lake Ontario region; and

. a summary of the American Planning Association award-winning post-flood recovery building workshop, organized by New York Sea Grant and the Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council, for the Village of Sodus Point.

The August 20 "A Probabilistic, Parcel-Level Inundation Prediction Tool to Support Community Preparedness to Flooding along Lake Ontario" webinar is part of New York Sea Grant's Summer 2020 Virtual Seminar Series. Recordings and additional information on previous and forthcoming seminars can be found at www.nyseagrant.org/researchseminars.

New York Sea Grant is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York with Great Lakes offices in Oswego, Newark, and Buffalo, N.Y. Learn more at www.nyseagrant.org.


New York Sea Grant Equips "For-Hire" Boating Industry to Encourage Clean & Safe Practices During COVID-19

Oswego, N.Y.; July 8, 2020.  New York Sea Grant (NYSG) Extension is providing New York State's freshwater marine industry for-hire boating sector with six decals to encourage public compliance with boating-specific COVID-19 safety precautions.

The outreach is part of the 2020 edition of NYSG's nationally-recognized Discover Clean and Safe Boating campaign. There is no cost to qualified for-hire boating businesses while supplies last. Printable templates of the decals are available to download at www.nyseagrant.org/marina.

The decals will adhere to boat surfaces to note "Mask Required," "Use Sanitizer," "Wear It" with a life jacket symbol, and "Keep Personal Belongings Personal;" others have a blank line to write a name with an erasable marker to designate person-specific areas aboard the vessel for each individual's fishing pole or diving gear.

The captains or business owners of charter services, boat rentals, tour boats, and boats for-hire for leisure cruising, fishing, or diving in New York State may request decals by emailing business name, postal address, and telephone number to sgoswego@cornell.edu. Details will be returned on the number of each style of decal available.

"This new outreach for 2020 is aimed at maintaining the opportunity to be on New York's fabulous boating waters for both the public and the marine industry that is an essential economic driver for our coastal communities," said New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White. "This project draws inspiration from a marine industry theme from the 1990s that fits today: 'Boating in New York is good, clean fun... let's keep it that way."

For additional information on boating in NY in 2020, with CDC and New York State COVID-19 guidelines, and a link to the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas' Guide to Operating Your Boat Business Safely during COVID-19, visit nysgrecreation.org.  

New York Sea Grant is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York. Learn more at www.nyseagrant.org.


Shoreline Owners: NY Sea Grant Virtual Site Visit Offers Erosion Management Expertise

Need help with shoreline erosion? Water pooling in your yard or basement? Are waves impacting your breakwall or rock rip-rap?

Check out the new virtual shoreline visit website of New York Sea Grant's Great Lakes program at www.nyseagrant.org/glcoastalvirtualsitevisit.

Waterfront property owners in need of erosion management expertise can request a virtual site visit by New York Sea  Grant Great Lakes Coastal Processes and Hazards Specialist Roy Widrig.There is no cost to use the new online resource that allows property owners to easily locate their property on a New York State map, describe erosion and flooding issues, and add photos of impacted areas.

Widrig, the author of Erosion Management for New York's Great Lakes Shoreline Guide, has held popular erosion management workshops for Lake Ontario property owners and visited properties to help landowners evaluate options to achieve better drainage, bluff stabilization, and use of nature-based features or traditional structures for erosion management.

"New York Sea Grant is pleased to make this online resource available to property owners to access Roy's expertise and to learn about options they can use to reduce current or future shoreline erosion," said Katherine Bunting-Howarth, Associate Director of New York Sea Grant and Assistant Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension, Ithaca, N.Y.

New York Sea Grant is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York. It maintains Great Lakes offices in Oswego, Newark, and Buffalo. For more information on Great Lakes coastal processes and erosion:

Photos at top: Before and after photos of a Lake Ontario property with shoreline erosion issues remediated by an owner who utilized information and assistance from New York Sea Grant after attending a NYSG shoreline workshop in Webster, NY. Photo: Roy Widrig, New York Sea Grant.


"Virtually Together"

Normally, on a warm summer morning, 400 runners and walkers line up to start the race for Laurel House’s 5K.  The village is bustling; everyone is in place as the starting gun is fired.  You see smiling faces in team shirts and looks of determination from serious runners.   This year it will all look a little different.


Boating in NY in 2020: Top 10 Safety Reminders, New Resources

Newark, Buffalo, Oswego, N.Y.; April 23, 2020.  In mid-April, with boating opportunities opening up with some restrictions related to marina operations, social distancing, and sanitization, the Empire State Marine Trades Association, Boating Industries Association of Upstate New York, and New York Sea Grant are providing resources to encourage people to boat in a socially responsible way. 

Be watchful for additional restrictions or new closures and follow CDC and New York State guidelines or restrictions for community safety. Call ahead to see if your boating destination is open. Do not use closed or crowded areas. If you are not feeling well or show any sign of illness or symptoms, safe home.

New York Sea Grant is reminding people of 10 tips to follow healthy, clean, safe and environmentally-friendly practices while socially distancing on boats at this time:

1.  Observe social distancing and disinfecting standards aboard your boat. Maintain social distancing from other boats and boaters in parking lots, at dock, fueling stations, and on the water. Do not share paddles or any hand-held safety, recreational or other equipment.

2.  File a float plan so someone onshore knows when and where you are going and when you are expected back. Call ahead to be sure your boat launch or marina destination is open.

3.  Know the rules of navigation. Brianna's Law will require all motorboat operators to complete a boating safety course; new age requirements began January 1, 2020. Online classes are available.

4.  Properly equip your vessel, be it a motorized boat, paddleboard, canoe, kayak. . . Check that all gear is working or up-to-date, e.g., lights, horn, fire extinguishers, flares, batteries, signal flags, first-aid kit, etc.

5.  Have and wear an approved life vest, preferably with a bright color that would be easily seen by emergency personnel.

6.  Check and assure weather and water conditions are safe before leaving, and check while on the water for any approaching weather system. Sites for information include  https://www.weather.gov/marine/
and https://glbuoys.glos.us/.
  7.  Have a properly-working means of communication, including a whistle, in case of emergency.

8.  Practice environmentally-responsible boating. Use a new bilge sock and fuel nozzle bib to prevent spills.

9.  Practice Clean, Drain, Dry before and after entering the water to limit the spread of aquatic invasive species.

10.  For Watercraft Inspection Program leaders, New York Sea Grant has enhanced access to new and standardized watercraft inspection program management tools on the redesigned New York State Invasive Clearinghouse website at http://nyis.info.

Links to New York State and marine industry resources include:
. Boating During COVID-19 

. Empire State Marine Trades Association   
. Boating Industries Association of Upstate NY
. New York State DEC Boating and Paddling
. NYS Parks Marine Services Bureau 

. New York Sea Grant.

Resources on DiscoverBoating.com offer the following points for attention:
.  Limit the people aboard to only those in your immediate household; no guests
.  No rafting up with other boats; no beaching your boat right next to someone else
.  Maintain distance at dock, when fueling, and on the water
.  Wash hands or use hand sanitizer after handling marina gates or fuel pump
.  Go right from your house to the boat and back, no unnecessary contact
.  Boat responsibly.

New York Sea Grant is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York.


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