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New resource for waterfront communities: New York Sea Grant Publishes NY Great Lakes Coastal Resilience Index

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Fri, Jan 3rd 2020 03:00 pm

New York Sea Grant has published New York's Great Lakes Coastal Resilience Index: A Community Self-Assessment guide for understanding how prepared a community is for coastal flooding and weather disasters such as wind and ice storms, ice jams and flash flooding. The publication can be read and downloaded in the “Resource: Tools” section of the New York Sea Grant website at www.seagrant.sunysb.edu/ccd/.

New York's Great Lakes Coastal Resilience Index, authored by New York Sea Grant Coastal Community Specialist Mary Austerman is a 44-page self-assessment tool with supplemental information designed to empower municipal leaders, local planners, engineers, floodplain managers and others to guide discussions about their community's resilience to coastal hazards.

"New York Sea Grant worked closely with communities and agency experts to ensure this resource is relevant to our Great Lakes local governments. Pilot efforts have been received positively and we look forward to assisting others in using this tool in the future," said New York Sea Grant Associate Director and Cornell Cooperative Extension Assistant Director Katherine Bunting-Howarth, J.D., Ph.D., of Ithaca.

Austerman is now scheduling meetings with communities to assist in completion of the Great Lakes Coastal Resilience Index. For more information or to schedule a date, contact Austerman at [email protected] or 315-331-8415.

The New York's Great Lakes Coastal Resilience Index uses readily available information and includes a nine-page exercise to investigate the vulnerabilities across six community sectors, including infrastructure, transportation, community and business plans, mitigation measures and social systems. The guide includes attributes and descriptions for weather disasters developed with data from the National Weather Service and Northeast Regional Climate Center, and instructions for using the New York Sea Grant Lake Ontario Inundation WebMap and Map Package projects so users can create their own Lake Ontario inundation risk maps.

"This Coastal Resilience Index provides a simple, inexpensive method for community leaders to perform a self-assessment of their community's resilience to coastal flooding and weather disasters and identify weaknesses a community may want to address prior to the next hazard event," Austerman said.

In 2019, Austerman was presented a 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 2017. New York Sea Grant was honored for its part in a post-flood recovery building workshop for the Village of Sodus Point with a 2019 Public Outreach Award from the New York Upstate Chapter of the American Planning Association.

New York Sea Grant is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York. To learn more, visit www.nyseagrant.org.

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