Brendan Keany

Great Lakes Roundtable Convenes to Discuss Rising Water Levels

"Our residents that live along the shoreline are very concerned."

May 16, 2019 - 1:57 pm

HAMBURG (WBEN - Brendan Keany) - State Senator Chris Jacobs held a press conference Thursday morning to discuss the Great Lakes Roundtable, which pulls together state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations and various elected officials of the 60th Senate District to strategize new ways of improving water safety and quality across Western New York.

"This is a working group that I've established since I've been in the Senate because I believe there's a lot fo benefit through collaboration, information exchange and best practices where one municipality may be undertaking an initiative that was successful that other municipalities may benefit from," said Jacobs. "The other element here is to make sure that all of our municipal leaders...are aware of opportunities for grants at the state level and at the federal level."

The major topic of conversation for this meeting: rising water levels.

"An imminent challenge right now is the raising water levels of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario," Jacobs said. 

Mary Hosler serves as the town supervisor for Evans, and she described the troubles that shoreline residents are beginning to see.

"We have residents that had beach, and they don't have beach; it's very hard to get to some of our access points to our beach, but it's also causing some flooding upstream because it's pushing back into those smaller streams that are feeding into the lake," said Hosler. "They've eroded our beaches - we have a lot of work on our beaches this year to get them opened because of the water levels. In generality, our residents that live along the shoreline are very concerned with the raising waters because of the damage that's going on with their properties."

Jacobs then mentioned one of the talking points that came from the meeting, saying there needs to be a regional approach to this problem.

"Challenges that a downstream community like Evans may have may not be caused by that community, it may be the result of things that are happening in other communities as water flows," said Jacobs.

Listen to full audio from the press conference below:

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