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Hamlin, NY, June 2017.
Photo: Mary Austerman, NYSG

Newark, N.Y.; April 27, 2018.  Survey data and photos, public testimony, and resources related to the 2017 Lake Ontario record high water level event are now available online on the New York Sea Grant website at http://www.nyseagrant.org/waterlevel2017.

The page includes testimony given by New York Sea Grant Coastal Community Development Specialist Mary Austerman at two public hearings, a spreadsheet format of results from the New York Sea Grant-Cornell University 2017 high water survey, a presentation of survey results, a clickable storymap with aerial photos and text descriptions during high water level in June 2017 at locations from Braddock Bay in Monroe County to Stony Creek in Jefferson County, a Photo Gallery of high water impact images, audio and video reporting on the flooding event; and a mold remediation video.

New York Sea Grant partnered with Dr. Scott Steinschneider and Dr. Richard Stedman at Cornell University to develop and implement the 2017 high water level impact survey to document the parcel-level impacts of the event on waterfront properties, identify areas most vulnerable to future flooding, and verify existing flood-risk modeling.

Data results from the summary of 490 validated high water survey responses by Lake Ontario property owners in New York include:
. 97% reporting nearshore inundation, 68%: outbuilding inundation; over 60%: inundation of foundation and-or main structure first floor
. 82% reporting not having flood insurance
. 70% reporting some level of erosional damage to nearshore areas; 44% to outbuildings: 25% to main structure
. 49% reporting moderate to severe land loss to erosion
. 58% reporting moderate to severe damage to shoreline protection, i.e., vertical or sloping wall
. 61% reporting an overall impact of 7-10 with 1 as no impact, 10 severe.

In a separate project, environmental consultants Thomas Hart and Geoffrey Steadman developed the storymap with aerial photos providing a visual tour of high water impact along the Lake Ontario shoreline near peak water levels in June 2017. New York Sea Grant provided funding in part for the aerial photography.

New York Sea Grant provided materials to assist an online survey by Conservation Ontario on behalf of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Adaptive Management Committee, and open to Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shoreline property owners in Canada and New York.

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 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For updates on New York Sea Grant Great Lakes and marine district activities, www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube links.


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