New York Sea Grant and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation recently awarded nearly $200,000 to projects that advance the practice of resiliency within the Great Lakes watershed.
Consistent with the state’s Great Lakes Action Agenda, the projects enhance community and ecological resilience throughout the watershed, and support water quality improvements and the restoration of native wildlife and habitats.
“These grant projects are part of New York’s ongoing commitment to strengthen the New York Great Lakes Basin environment and economy,” said Basil Seggos, DEC commissioner. “For the third year in a row, Gov. Cuomo sustained the state’s Environmental Protection Fund at $300 million, supporting critical projects in the Great Lakes watershed and across the state, protecting and enhancing New York’s unmatched natural resources.”
“These small grants address a broad range of opportunities to implement projects from western New York to the St. Lawrence River region,” said Katherine Bunting-Howarth, associate director, New York Sea Grant. “Projects utilize living shoreline practices to protect property, enhance aquatic habitat, assess wastewater system upgrade options and inform local stakeholders about resilience practices, while applying a comprehensive ecosystem-based management approach to benefit New York’s Great Lakes environmental and human communities and stakeholders.”
New York Sea Grant administers the state’s Great Lakes Basin Small Grants program, now in its fourth year of funding projects that achieve goals of GLAA, as identified by basinwide stakeholders.
Genesee-Finger Lakes Regional Planning Commission in Rochester received $25,000 to support its post-flood recovery building workshop. Through a community-driven planning process, all stakeholder groups in Sodus Point can react to the 2017 flood and erosion event along Lake Ontario by identifying past, current and future challenges and strengths based on infrastructure, environment, economy, tourism and other community components. Actions to improve community resilience to future high and low water levels and better integrate coastal resiliency efforts into local planning and management will be developed and prioritized.
The Environmental Finance Center at Syracuse University received $25,000 to create community and watershed resiliency through training and technical assistance. This project will offer two workshops that spur shoreline and upland communities toward implementing ecosystem-based management in community planning efforts, specifically to increase flood resiliency. Participants will be equipped with the tools and knowledge to cope with flooding events while maintaining ecosystem integrity and balancing the economic and social needs of their communities. Educational materials and resiliency financing plans will be developed in communities along the southern Lake Ontario shore in Wayne County.
The town of Greece received $25,000 for waterfront infrastructure resiliency assessment. The project examines wastewater system failures in the town; identifies and prioritizes solutions, such as hard projects, strategies and policies for implementation in the interest of public health and safety; and safeguards nearby sensitive wetland habitats in the DEC Braddock Bay Fish and Wildlife Management Area. The focus is on improving the integrity and operation of waterfront sewer systems in the face of potentially increasing seasonal high-water conditions.
The Nature Conservancy in Rochester received $25,000 for its Salmon Creek/South Avenue engineering study. Funding supports work with an environmental engineering firm to conduct a hydrologic and hydraulic study of the Salmon Creek/South Avenue area surrounding Hilton. The study evaluates flood attenuation options in three areas by updating the hydrology to current day, supplementing existing light detection and ranging data with field-collected elevation data and modeling current conditions and future scenarios. This work is crucial to Village II Apartments, adjacent property owners and the village of Hilton. Public feedback will inform selection of an approach that will result in the best risk reduction to local residents and businesses, while improving water quality and riparian habitat.
Grant projects support the goals of the interim Great Lakes Action Agenda, a plan for applying ecosystem-based management to complex environmental problems in order to conserve, protect and enhance natural resources.
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