Great Lakes
Steve Buchiere / Finger Lakes Times

Reps. John Katko and Joe Morelle seek Eight-State Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study from Army Corps

Children run along the shores at Sodus Point Park, whose beach has suffered some erosion due to high lake levels. Reps. John Katko and Joe Morelle have introduced bipartisan legislation to require a Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study, which would allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to partner with the eight Great Lakes states on assessing threats and resiliency measures for coastal communities.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Amid another year of record water levels on Lake Ontario, Republican John Katko and Democrat Joe Morelle have introduced bipartisan legislation to require a Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study.

They said the proposal would allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to work with the eight Great Lakes states — including New York — on assessing threats and resiliency measures for coastal communities.

Katko, R-24, Camillus, whose district includes Wayne County, and Morelle, D-24, Irondequoit, whose district covers Monroe County, have been joined by a group of 24 Democrats and Republicans from Great Lakes states in introducing the legislation.

“High water levels continue to cause harm to lake shore communities here in central New York, and throughout the Great Lakes ecosystem,” said Katko late last week. “We need to continue to provide resources to immediately address this crisis, but we must also study the long-term impact of high water levels and severe weather on the Great Lakes coastline. This bipartisan legislation provides the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers the necessary tools to conduct research and to analyze the economic and physical well being of our coastal communities.”

Morelle concurred.

“Communities along the shoreline, like mine, have become increasingly vulnerable to flood waters and know first-hand the devastation they can cause,” said Morelle. “The U.S. Army Corps must be able to move forward with its Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study to ensure we are utilizing resources efficiently and effectively to better protect our communities from future storms. I’m proud to partner with Congressman Katko on this bipartisan legislation as we seek to strengthen the resiliency of our coastal communities.”

Despite supportive language in previous appropriations bills, the Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study has yet to be included in the annual work plan for the Army Corp of Engineers, said Katko and Morelle.

Record-high lake levels are once again causing damage in shoreline communities all along Lake Ontario shoreline. In 2017, flooding caused millions of dollars in damage to homes and businesses, including those in Wayne County.

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