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NYSG educational outreach is equipping Great Lakes property owners with critical information on sustainable shoreline protection practices


Roy Widrig, NYSG Great Lakes Coastal Processes & Hazards Specialist, P: 315-312-3042, E: rlw294@cornell.edu

Oswego, NY, March 4, 2019 - After widespread flooding along the southern shore of Lake Ontario in 2017, shoreline properties and structures were at risk of extensive destruction from high water and powerful waves. In 2018, New York Sea Grant (NYSG) designed a workshop to educate shoreline property owners on sustainable and innovative shoreline protection options.

In June 2018, NYSG presented a workshop that provided Lake Ontario shoreline property owners with an array of shoreline protection options as well as covering the permitting process associated with these types of projects and offering guidance on selecting and working with shoreline contractors.

The workshop attracted 35 property owners and managers from Oswego, Wayne and Cayuga counties to the four-hour learning opportunity. Participants welcomed guidance on working within the local shoreline geology and Lake Ontario climate, how to select and work with shoreline contractors, and New York State permitting processes.

The workshop design and selected speakers — from the Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and New York State Department of State (DOS) — were met with a positive response from attendees who provided NYSG with feedback on interest in future similar workshops.

NYSG continues to advance productive working relationships with the DEC, DOS, and county Soil & Water Conservation Districts to provide guidance to property owners on managing their shoreline for erosion and flooding resilience.

The June 2018 workshop served as an introduction for the new NYSG Great Lakes Coastal Processes and Hazards Specialist to communities along the southern Lake Ontario shoreline and as a kick starter for creating awareness and use of natural and nature-based shoreline establishment in the Great Lakes.

Lake Ontario property owners and managers learn about sustainable shoreline protection at this NYSG-initiated workshop. Credit: NYSG/Mary Austerman.


• New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
• New York State Department of State
• Oswego County Soil & Water Conservation District
• Wayne County Soil & Water Conservation District

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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