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Publication Spotlight: Effects of Erosion and Accretion on Coastal Landforms
Great Lakes Coastal Processes and Erosion - News

Contact:
Heather Weitzner, Great Lakes Coastal Processes and Hazards Specialist, New York Sea Grant, E: hw528@cornell.edu, P: 315.331.8415

Newark, NY, February 4, 2016 - New York has a diverse shoreline along the Great Lakes that includes coastal landforms such as sand beaches, dunes, offshore bars, bluffs, cobble beaches, wetlands and various combinations of these features. Some of these landforms provide erosion protection, reducing the vulnerability of landward areas and the naturally formed and human built environment found there. These areas are also susceptible to erosion and accretion (build up of sediment) caused by such forces as wind and waves, which help shape the shoreline.

Coastal landforms found along New York’s Great Lakes shorelines are the focus of this New York Sea Grant six-page fact sheet (pdf), which features colorful diagrams of how different ecosystemsincluding wetlands, bluffs and dunes, beaches and off-shore barscan be impacted by erosion and accretion. While humans can impact the shoreline by intensifying erosion and accretion, this fact sheet addresses how coastal landforms are affected by the more natural forces and factors that influence shoreline evolution.

The diverse landforms found along New York’s Great Lakes shorelines can vary significantly depending on location. Although some of these coastal landforms serve as natural erosion protection features, they are also susceptible to erosion and accretion caused by such forces as wind and waves. These forces help shape the shoreline, which is a dynamic environment that evolves under the effects of both natural and human influences.

For additional publications and to learn more about natural processes and possible management alternatives when faced with their effects, see New York Sea Grant’s Great Lakes Coastal Processes Web site, www.nyseagrant.org/glcoastal.



Bluffs found along New York’s Great Lakes shorelines are affected by erosion resulting from a variety of factors including waves, high water levels, groundwater seepage, and runoff. Photo: Heather Weitzner / NYSG.


More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York, is one of 33 university-based programs under the National Sea Grant College Program (NSGCP) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NSGCP engages this network of the nation’s top universities in conducting scientific research, education, training and extension projects designed to foster science-based decisions about the use and conservation of our aquatic resources. Through its statewide network of integrated services, NYSG has been promoting coastal vitality, environmental sustainability, and citizen awareness about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources since 1971.

New York Sea Grant maintains Great Lakes offices at SUNY Buffalo, the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark and at SUNY Oswego. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University and Stony Brook Manhattan, in the Hudson Valley through Cooperative Extension in Kingston and at Brooklyn College. 

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube links. NYSG also offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/coastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published several times a year.

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