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Sodus Point Project Receives Public Outreach Award
Coastal Community Development Program - Press Release

Sodus Point Mayor Dave McDowell, left, welcomes key stakeholders to a post-flood recovery building workshop organized by New York Sea Grant and the Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council. Credit: New York Sea Grant


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

Kara Lynn Dunn, NYSG Great Lakes Publicist, E: karalynn@gisco.net, P: 315.465.7578

Newark, NY, November 11, 2019 - The Post-Flood Recovery Building Workshop for the Village of Sodus Point, a project organized by the Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council and New York Sea Grant, has received a 2019 Public Outreach Award from the New York Upstate Chapter of the American Planning Association

The award was one of 16 presented at the Chapter’s annual conference in Rochester, N.Y., recognizing outstanding contributions to the field of city, town, and regional planning in the areas of comprehensive planning, implementation, public outreach, best practice, and distinguished leadership.

The Post-Flooding project in the Village of Sodus Point highlighted a visioning process for the community and included a public engagement workshop. As part of the project, Mary Austerman, New York Sea Grant Coastal Community Specialist, piloted a newly-developed self-assessment checklist to help identify village-specific vulnerabilities to high water levels.  
“Key strategies were identified at the workshop to enhance the village response to high water events. The strategies were implemented, in part, for the 2019 event and proved helpful,” says Sodus Point Mayor David McDowell

McDowell also noted the workshop impact on communications.

“Communications both inside and outside of the village were structured to be more comprehensive and direct, and, as a result, we experienced a calmer resident response and have seen an improved business climate since 2017,” McDowell said.

The resiliency building effort is ongoing in Sodus Point and has contributed to the community-level visioning model that New York Sea Grant and the Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council would like to use to assist other coastal areas impacted by the Lake Ontario high water event, or weather disasters.

"The Upstate Chapter Awards Program has been a centerpiece of our Annual Conferences for years and once again we were thrilled to present our membership with 16 exemplary examples of recent projects completed by Chapter Members that are bringing about positive change and benefits for residents of Upstate New York,” said Mark Castiglione, AICP, president of the New York Upstate Chapter and the American Planning Association.

The American Planning Association provides leadership in the development of vital communities by advocating excellence in planning, promoting education and citizen empowerment, and providing our members with the tools and support necessary to meet the challenges of growth and change. The New York Upstate Chapter of the American Association advances the work of the national organization in 48 counties north of the New York City metropolitan region.

In September, Austerman received a 2019 Great Lakes Sea Grant Network Outstanding Outreach Programming Award for excellence in assisting Lake Ontario coastal communities to address record high water and flooding since the 2017 event. 

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: 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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