Schumer, Gillibrand Support Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study

Following vicious flooding of Lake Ontario during two of the last three years, with private and public property and infrastructure being destroyed, NY Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand yesterday urged USACE to include the Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study (GLCRS) in its Fiscal Year 2020 Work Plan.

The study, Schumer and Gillibrand said, would seek to both identify vulnerable areas on the Great Lakes’ shorelines and recommend new shoreline protections to fund to increase resilience to various types of damage.

The senators said that in the wake of this devastating flooding of Lake Ontario’s shoreline and with its water level substantially higher than average for this time of the year, the need to plan now how to strengthen Great Lakes infrastructure for the future is clear.

“Therefore, Schumer and Gillibrand called on USACE to prioritize the Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study in its upcoming work plan, a major step toward unlocking essential funding for the study and ensuring that the infrastructure on Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, and the St. Lawrence Seaway is fully capable of weathering the storms and floods of the future,” according to their official release.

The Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study was developed to safeguard against threats like flooding and erosion and is vital to protecting the Great Lakes’ 5,200-mile coastline, as well as the 4.2 million people who live within two miles of the coastline.

The study will be an infrastructure investment strategy for the Lake Ontario and Great Lakes coast that will result in a blueprint that identifies vulnerable areas and recommends measures that can be funded to increase resiliency and to protect the coastline.

This GLCRS will evaluate and recommend an array of structural, natural, and regulatory measures to protect the coastline such as building breakwaters, adding coastal armoring or protective stone groins, developing new resilient design standards, restoring protective barrier islands, conducting beach sand replenishment, and more.