Long-Term Flood Resiliency for Communities: A Watershed Management Approach: Big Flats, NY – Oct. 14, 2015; Skaneateles, NY – Oct. 16, 2015

Big Flats, NY

The SU-EFC, Chemung County Stormwater Coalition, and Southern Tier Central Regional Planning and Development Board hosted a free flood resiliency training event for rural communities in the Southern Tier region of NYS. This program was for municipal officials, highway personnel, planners, non-profit members, technical service providers, and engaged community members and provided watershed resiliency strategies that minimize future flooding impacts and reduce the financial burden of such reoccurring events. Participants learned planning tools for identifying risks to their community, funding sources and lessons learned from other communities that have implemented work to prioritize risks, take preventive measures, and recover from extreme events.

The event included the following presentations and topics:

  • The Rest of the Story on Chemung County Flooding by Mark Watts, District Manager, Chemung County Soil and Water Conservation District;
  • Watersheds – The Funnel, The Sponge, and The Slide by Janet Thigpen, Flood Mitigation Specialist, STCRPDB;
  • Sustainable Stormwater Management for Local Roadways and Drainage Systems by Geoffrey Scott, Technical Assistance Engineer, Cornell Local Roads Program;
  • Drawing on Local Knowledge−Challenges, Opportunities and Strategies: a roundtable discussion that enables communities to discuss their challenges, successes, stories, and strategies for flood resiliency on a watershed scale;
  • A Green Infrastructure Approach to Community Resiliency Planning and Additional Benefits of Watershed Management by Jennifer Cotting, Research Associate, Environmental Finance Center, University of Maryland and Khris Dodson, Associate Director, Syracuse University Environmental Finance Center; and
  • Watershed Conversation and lunch with Watershed Technical Service Providers, Funders, and Experts.

There were 55 registrants and 6 staff members from the EFC and Chemung County Stormwater Coalition in attendance and drove as far as a one-hour radius to attend the workshop. As a result of the training, many attendees indicated they would: attempt to make changes to local laws; use tools learned during the workshop in their practice; present stormwater management and flood resiliency issues and solutions to local and regional committees, town officials, and residents of the municipality; implement resource allocation using financial resources; and/or involve the community in decision-making processes. Overall, attendees will engage their communities in becoming more proactive toward flood resiliency planning and implementation.


Skaneateles, NY

The SU-EFC and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County hosted a flood resiliency training event for rural communities in the Central New York region. This program was for municipal officials, highway personnel, planners, non-profit members, technical service providers, and engaged community members and provided watershed resiliency strategies that minimize future flooding impacts and reduce the financial burden of such reoccurring events. Participants learned planning tools for identifying risks to their community, funding sources and lessons learned from other communities that have implemented work to prioritize risks, take preventive measures, and recover from extreme events.

The event included the following presentations and topics:

  • Real Flooding Stories, Protocol, and Lessons Learned in Onondaga County by Daniel Wears, Commissioner, Onondaga County Department of Emergency Management;
  • Sustainable Stormwater Management for Local Roadways and Drainage Systems by Geoffrey Scott, Technical Assistance Engineer, Cornell Local Roads Program;
  • A Green Infrastructure Approach to Community Resiliency Planning and Additional Benefits of Watershed Management by Jennifer Cotting, Research Associate, Environmental Finance Center, University of Maryland and Khris Dodson, Associate Director, Syracuse University Environmental Finance Center;
  • Drawing on Local Knowledge−Challenges, Opportunities and Strategies: a roundtable discussion that enables communities to discuss their challenges, successes, stories, and strategies for flood resiliency on a watershed scale;
  • Our Climate is Indeed Changing: An objective look at regional changes in climate, and at increasing weather extremes with a focus on the northeastern United States by Dave Eichorn, Meteorologist, NewsChannel 9 WSYR; and
  • Watershed Conversation and Lunch with Watershed Technical Service Providers, Funders, and Experts.

There were 34 registrants and 6 members from the EFC and CCE in attendance who traveled from up to a one-hour radius to attend the workshop. As a result of the training, many attendees indicated they would: attempt to make changes to local laws; use tools learned during the workshop in their practice; present stormwater management and flood resiliency issues and solutions to local and regional committees, town officials, and residents of the municipality; implement resource allocation using financial resources; and/or involve the community in decision- making processes. Overall, attendees will engage their communities in becoming more proactive toward flood resiliency planning and implementation.