Following major New York State storm events Irene, Lee and Sandy in 2011 and 2012, concern and attention paid to extreme precipitation and flooding seemed to be at an all-time high. Though 2016 brought New York State one of its worst droughts in history, 2017 was again a year of serious flooding, this time on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence Seaway as regional precipitation hit record highs. Additional heavy precipitation events followed in 2018, this time impacting many Southern Tier counties bordering Pennsylvania. Across the state, citizens and decision makers are increasingly faced with complex choices about land use, economic development, and infrastructure investment in the context of flooding and extreme precipitation. Researchers, as well as extension staff, are increasingly being asked to forecast the probability of such flooding events and provide support to individuals and communities seeking to plan for, and respond to, flooding in more effective ways.
Better understand how individuals and communities perceive flood risk and define resilience with the goal of improving extension and outreach to achieve flooding mitigation and adaptation
Improve our understanding of the value of Hudson River tidal wetlands to sequester greenhouse gases including the following:
How and why different tidal wetlands in the New York New Jersey Harbor and Hudson River Estuary region might vary in their ability to sequester carbon both within individual wetlands and among different wetlands
Which Hudson River tidal wetlands might be most valuable for carbon sequestration and how that might affect wetland management approaches
How NYS could capitalize on the carbon sequestration benefit of tidal wetlands in the region through future policy approaches including the recently passed Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act
- Create and support an on-campus Flood Resiliency Working Group (FRWP)
- Build capacity to assist municipalities with Climate Smart Communities (CSC) certification. See This scorecard for an example.
- Establish links between different state and federal programs designed to assist communities become more flood resilient: Climate Smart Communities (CSC), Community Rating System (CRS), Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN), Flood Smart, etc
- Develop materials on ditch and culvert management along with colleagues from Pennsylvania and West Virginia, drawing in part on the successful Trees for Tribs program in NYS