MyCoast New York: Engaging Communities to Document Floods & Storm Damage
Publications: Success Stories - Extension (2023)

Photo: Flooding at Esopus Meadows after the Christmas Day storm of 2020. Credit: Angela Schimizzi


Kathleen Fallon, NYSG Coastal Processes & Hazards Specialist, E:, P: (631) 632-8730

Jessica A. Kuonen, Hudson Estuary Resilience Specialist, NYSG E:, P: (845) 340-3990 x323

NYSG is piloting a statewide community science tool that engages New Yorkers in documenting and sharing their experiences with floods, storm damage, and coastal changes through photos

Stony Brook, NY, March 23, 2023 - As increases in precipitation, storm frequency and intensity, and sea level accelerate, New York’s communities are challenged with documenting and communicating flood risk with limited resources. Residents commonly take photos during and after flood and storm events; however, there is no statewide system for collecting photos that is readily available to the public as a way to document storm impact.

In July 2022, New York Sea Grant (NYSG) partnered with the New York State Water Resources Institute to launch a two-year pilot of MyCoast NY, a portal for collecting photos of flooding, changing shorelines, and hazardous weather impacts. Photos submitted through the Flood Watch (tracking flooding statewide) and Storm Reporter (reporting storm damage) options of the MyCoast NY tool are matched to real-time environmental conditions to create reports to help emergency managers, local planners, residents, and state agencies better understand the changing environment and make informed decisions for response. Additionally in 2022, CoastSnap phone cradle posts were installed at Ferry Landing in Stuyvesant and the Beach 91st boardwalk ramp in the Rockaways to capture shoreline changes over time through the MyCoast NY tool.

Fifty-five people attended an introductory webinar that provided an overview of the project, demonstrated the MyCoast NY tool, and answered audience questions in October 2022. Attendees represented a range of perspectives from emergency managers to concerned citizens and weather enthusiasts. As of December 2022, MyCoast NY registrations totaled 215 New Yorkers. This tool proved valuable for documenting the storm surge inundation and impact of Winter Storm Elliot on December 23rd, with more than 100 photo reports submitted from Long Island, New York City, and throughout the Hudson River Estuary.

The MyCoast NY app and website are available to anyone interested to help inform future risk communications statewide for New York’s coastal and inland communities.


• New York State Water Resources Institute 
• U.S. Department of Commerce 
• National Sea Grant Office

High tide flooding in Kingston, NY. Credit: Jessica Kuonen/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 (SUNY), is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly.

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