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On YouTube: Post-Flood Recovery Visioning: Sodus Point, NY
Publications: Success Stories - Extension (2019)

NYSG’s post-flood recovery planning provides communities the opportunity to improve resilience to future flooding


Mary Austerman, Great Lakes Coastal Community Specialist, P: 315-331-8415, E: mp357@cornell.edu

Newark, NY, March 4, 2019 - Research has long shown that, in the absence of some larger vision for the future, residents of communities recovering from a hazard event such as severe flooding have an operative idea of their rebuilt community—almost invariably it resembles the community they already knew.

The record-high Lake Ontario water event in 2017 hit the Village of Sodus Point (Wayne County, N.Y.) hard. Water overran shoreline and breakwalls causing persistent inundation to waterfront homes and businesses, and flooding streets.

New York Sea Grant (NYSG) and the Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council (G/FLRPC) established and piloted a visioning process to help communities improve their resiliency to future flooding events. This process, designed to be transferable to other communities, included implementing a self-assessment checklist and hosting a public engagement workshop. The workshop was held in the Village of Sodus Point.

A self-assessment checklist identifying flooding vulnerabilities served to inform participants in the Post-Flood Recovery Building Workshop (organized by NYSG and G/FLRPC) held in October 2018.

The workshop was attended by a mix of local residents, Village staff, Village and County department representatives, and topical experts with state and federal agencies, organizations, and academia. Breakout groups identified the local features/assets/procedures that were impacted and prioritized actions to improve their functionality in the face of future flooding events.

NYSG and G/FLRPC presented the workshop findings to the Village Board and during 2019 will design rough project concepts with potential funding sources.

“Going forward, we will review the workshop recommendations for actions we can take to put us in a much better position to deal with future events” — Sodus Point Mayor Dave McDowell

Post-flood recovery visioning workshop breakout session; Inset: prioritizing suggested actions. Credit: GLRPC/Jayme Thomann.


Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Community Climate Adaptation Initiative; through funds provided by the Environmental Protection Fund under the authority of the New York Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act and by agreement with NYSG, G/FLRPC received a New York Great Lakes Basin Small Grants Program grant

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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