NYSG Featured in NYSDEC's 2016-2018 Great Lakes Program Progress Report
New York's Great Lakes - News

People and communities are benefiting from collaborative projects, including a number of them with Sea Grant, to restore New York's Great Lakes resources

Ithaca, NY, March 22, 2019 - New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)'s 2016-2018 progress report (pdf), released to commemorate World Water Day, highlights New York's programs and projects in the Great Lakes watershed that are benefiting communities taking action to maintain and improve community uses of the lakes, surrounding lands and other waterways in the Great Lakes Basin.

"The Great Lakes are a vital resource for New York and the nation's environment and economy," says DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "However, the growing absence of federal environmental leadership is putting the lakes' continued recovery at risk."

"New York is committed to making investments to restore, protect, and enhance this critical watershed for the benefit of our state's environment, economy, and quality of life, and the Great Lakes Action Agenda is a strong blueprint to achieve our goals. This report showcases how New York's leadership is creating collaborative partnerships and implementing effective programs that build on progress underway."

New York's Great Lakes Program and partners have advanced the goals of the Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA) by balancing the needs of residents, nature, and the economy through collaborative, science-based decision-making. Ongoing efforts will build on current successes and promote the understanding of and appreciation for the many beautiful places and important water resources of the Great Lakes Basin.

The 2016-2018 Great Lakes Report highlights a number of GLAA efforts and details how DEC and its partners, including New York Sea Grant (NYSG), are restoring environmental quality, conserving natural resources, promoting resilient communities, and supporting sustainable development.

One example of the DEC-NYSG partnership highlighted in the report is the Great Lakes Ecosystem Education Exchange (GLEEE), which has reached 100 educators and nearly 23,000 students across New York's Great Lakes watersheds. This DEC-New York Sea Grant program provides hands-on activities and lesson plans to help the next generation of New Yorkers learn about and improve the health of the Great Lakes. More on GLEEE on page 11 of the report or via NYSG's October 2017 press release, "NYSG and DEC Launch NY Great Lakes Ecosystem Education Exchange Program."

Another example, the Great Lakes Small Grant Program, is administered by NYSG. Now in its fourth year, Sea Grant's small grants program has been successfully funding projects that achieve goals of the GLAA, as identified by basin-wide stakeholders. More on this on page 10 of the report or via NYSG's March 2019 news item, "2018 NY Great Lakes Basin Small Grants Awards Enhancing Community & Ecosystem Resiliency." NYSG also provides background on the overall effort via the March 2019 news item, "NY’s Great Lakes Basin Small Grants Program."

In addition to the Great Lakes Small Grant Program, which began in 2015, another early partnerships under the agreement between DEC and NYSG was a Great Lakes resources site, which is detailed in NYSG's June 2016 press release, "NYSG Partners with NYSDEC, Launches New York's Great Lakes Web Portal."

The partnership between NYSG and DEC was kicked off in January 2015 with a series of workshops examining NYSDEC's GLAA.

Also Inside the Report

As Commissioner Seggos says in his letter introducing the "2018 Great Lakes Program" (pdf): "This report highlights actions taken from 2016 to 2018 by DEC’s partner organizations to protect and improve our Great Lakes waters, watersheds, and communities."

Including the efforts mentioned above, key projects highlighted in the report include Lake Ontario flood mapping, municipal sewage system upgrades, projects that help prevent beach closures, restore habitat, and wetlands, and projects that use native plants to stabilize shorelines at Sodus Bay, Sacketts Harbor and Irondequoit Bay. Also, some nine habitat restoration projects along the Buffalo River shoreline and five Niagara River habitat and wetland restoration project designs were completed.

NYSG is as a participant in additional efforts mentioned in the report, including those related to: The binational Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI), for which NYSG's focus is on Lake Ontario (page 3); Nature-based shorelines (page 8); Great Lakes coastal processes and climate resiliency training workshops (page 9).

More Info: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) was created on July 1, 1970 to combine in a single-agency all-state programs designed to protect and enhance the environment. The agency consists of a Central Office in Albany and an office in each of its nine regions that serve the communities within that region. The department has 24 divisions and offices and a total of approximately 3,000 staffers working in the central and regional offices. More at www.dec.ny.gov.

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 33 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: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/nycoastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly. Our program also produces an occasional e-newsletter,"NOAA Sea Grant's Social Media Review," via its blog, www.nyseagrant.org/blog.


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This website was developed with funding from the Environmental Protection Fund, in support of the Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act of 2006. 

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