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NYSG Offers Virtual Shoreline Visits for Great Lakes Shoreline Erosion Management
Publications: Success Stories - Extension (2021)

The map (below) shows Virtual Site Visit request locations (green dots) that included the Scriba, New York, property seen in the photo (above). Credit: Map: Google Earth (map); NY shoreline property owner (photo)


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

New York Sea Grant responds to shoreline erosion during a pandemic by designing and implementing an online advisory service

Oswego, NY, March 8, 2021 - Due to the novel Coronavirus pandemic in the United States in 2020, it was necessary to move to virtual methods of communication. New York Sea Grant (NYSG) designed a “Virtual Site Visit” process for New York shoreline property owners to request shoreline erosion consultations.

NYSG utilized a public-use geographic online survey (ArcGIS Survey123) to develop an online form for shoreline residents to report shoreline erosion issues and request assistance from professionals working in shoreline erosion management, shoreline construction, and state and local permitting. Using the form, residents can select their property location on a map, add a detailed description of their current erosion issues, upload photos of damage to shorelines and shore structures, and request assistance in finding shoreline erosion solutions.

As of December 2020, the Virtual Site Visit request form and its associated public releases had resulted in 38 new inquiries from around New York State, including from property owners along Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, as well as the Niagara River and the Finger Lakes.

In an effort to provide New York’s Great Lakes residents with shoreline erosion consultation during an ongoing pandemic, NYSG developed the online form for residents to request and receive shoreline erosion assistance. The program resulted in an increased number of inquiries from shoreline residents and an increased geographic reach for NYSG. The form linked shoreline residents with shoreline professionals in the fields of geology, construction, and permitting in New York State.

Project Partners:

• New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
• Funding: New York State Environmental Protection Fund under the New York Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act

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 Elmsford and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, 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.

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