USGS Researching Ontario's Receding Shoreline

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Several agencies are joining together to better inform the public of Lake Ontario water levels and the impact on the local shoreline.

Service Water Specialists of Ithaca and Research Oceanographers from the United States Geological Survey team are conducting research in Greece.

There are two different operations.

The first requires the installation of 14 radar sites in Braddock Bay and Sodus Point.

"This is primarily a benefit to the emergency responders and the people along the shore that are being affected mainly as a way to allow them to know what the lake is doing," said William Coon, service water specialist.

William Coon says levels have gone down four inches since the peak of flooding.

The second operation involves flying a drone 160 feet above the ground to map out where the shoreline has receded.

Oceanographer Chris Surewood says working in these conditions are unusual for his line of work.

"We're coastal oceanographers. We've been responding to things like hurricane Sandy where we go and measure damage to beaches and dunes and coastal property that's been developed," said Chris Surewood, USGS research organizer. "So this is kind of new territory for us usually the water level goes down in six hours when the tide goes out and not in six months."

The work is being paid for by FEMA and will take place over the next five to six months.

The maps and information gathered will be publicly available and allow emergency responders to better assist flood victims.

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