Mapping Bluff Erosion Potential on the PA Coast of Lake Erie
a new webinar hosted by Pennsylvania Sea Grant
April 8, 2022
1:00 – 2:00 PM Eastern
Residents and decision-makers in Erie and throughout the Great Lakes region are encouraged to register for Mapping Bluff Erosion Potential on the PA Coast of Lake Erie, part of Pennsylvania Sea Grant’s webinar series focused on erosion along PA’s Lake Erie shoreline. This fifth and final webinar will present the Bluff Erosion Potential (BEP) Index, a geospatial mapping tool used to improve bluff-erosion hazard visualization along Pennsylvania's Great Lakes coast. The webinar is scheduled for Friday, April 8, 2022, from 1:00 – 2:00 PM Eastern. Registration is required.
Lake Erie bluff erosion poses a threat to the Pennsylvania Lake Erie economy, environment, and safety of its residents. Approximately 76 miles of shoreline, including Presque Isle State Park, Erie Bluffs State Park, public access points, and many privately owned properties, are exposed to the potential threats of shoreline erosion.
The BEP Index is one of several tools developed by researchers from Pennsylvania Sea Grant and Penn State Behrend, utilizing state-of-the-art science and data collection conducted along the Pennsylvania Lake Erie shoreline. The result is an online tool to help landowners, decision-makers and others visualize and assess potential bluff erosion hazards, in efforts to prevent future bluff erosion. Funding for the efforts was provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Growing Greener Program.
The Index builds upon a developing national trend in bluff best-management practices, using sequential hazard swaths, mapped over a century+ at multi-property scales and across 69 coastal watersheds. The resulting data identifies hazard zones that encompass the region between the bluff toe (at the backshore or shoreline) and a line located as much as 272 meters landward of the bluff crest.
As a non-regulatory tool, the BEP Index can provide coastal stakeholders with a greater and more visual understanding of risk over multi-decade to century-plus building timescales and can support ongoing bluff-hazard management efforts by government agencies. A report detailing the methods involved in developing the BEP index is available online.