US Army Corps of Engineers
Buffalo District Website

Water Level Info

Up to date water level information can be found here.

Lake Ontario High Water Permitting

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District, in cooperation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and New York State Department of State (DOS) have issued guidance regarding permits available for the purpose of shore protection to safeguard existing functional erosion control structures, roads, bridges, infrastructure, and property along Lake Ontario shoreline and the Saint Lawrence River including affected portions of navigable bays and tributaries.

On April 30, 2019, the DEC issued a NEW General Permit (GP-0-19-003) for Lake Ontario Erosion Control which covers the same Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River Shoreline areas as GP-0-17-006 and GP-0-18-002. Applications for coverage must be received by the DEC prior to April 30, 2020 with work completed by September 30, 2020.


Details of the DEC GP and instructions for applicants can be found at:


Projects that qualify for the General Permit will also qualify for the USACE Nationwide Permit (NWP) No. 3, 13, and/or 19 and have received Coastal Consistency Certification from the New York State Department of State (NYSDOS).

All GP applications must be submitted to the DEC who will determine if the GP applies. If the GP applies, no coordination with the USACE or DOS is required except for the following circumstances:

  1.  You must contact the USACE at 716-879-4330 or to obtain approval prior to starting work to ensure compliance with the Endangered Species Act:

                           a.) All projects involving tree removal in any of the affected counties.

b.) For projects in federal jurisdictional wetlands in: Towns of Huron and Wolcott, Wayne County and all Towns in Cayuga and Oswego Counties; and Towns of Ellisburg and Henderson in Jefferson County*.

c.) For any work subject to this permit with sandy shorelines* in the Towns of Sandy Creek and Richland, Oswego County, and the Towns of Henderson and Ellisburg, Jefferson County.

* updated September 4, 2019

To ensure permit compliance please review the complete terms and conditions of the USACE Nationwide Permits that can be accessed at NWP 3_13_ 19 for GP-0-19-003(final).pdf.

NOTE: Projects that subsequently receive a DEC “STANDARD ACTIVITY PERMIT SAP-0-19-001: 2017-2018 LAKE ONTARIO/ST LAWRENCE RIVER FLOODING”, which allows for completion of projects that previously received a DEC GP but expired before completion of the authorized work, will continue to qualify for Nationwide Permit (NWP) No. 3, 13, and/or 19.

Projects not qualifying for the GP

A joint application must be submitted separately to DEC, USACE & DOS. The joint application and instructions are available on our website at:

Lake Ontario High Water Level Information

Under Public Law 84-99, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may provide assistance for flood response activities, to save lives and protect improved property (i.e. public facilities/services and residential/commercial developments) during or following a flood or coastal storm. All assistance is supplemented through local and State governmental authorities.

Direct Assistance may be provided in the form of government-furnished materials, to include empty sandbags and plastic sheeting, upon state request.  Technical assistance be provided in the form of critical engineering advice and solutions, to include the following:

  • Providing experienced personnel to give guidance on flood fight techniques and emergency construction methods.
  • Providing personnel to inspect existing flood protection projects and/or structurally threatened dams to identify problem areas and recommend corrective actions.
  • Providing hydraulic or hydrologic analysis, geotechnical evaluations, topography and stream data, maps, and historic or storm information. 

Prior to calling the Corps of Engineers for assistance, homeowners should first contact their town, county, and state officials to report concerns.

Buffalo District is committed to ensuring public safety while providing technical expertise and assistance to communities along the shoreline to supplement the State’s coordinated emergency response efforts,” said said Lt. Col. Jason Toth, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District commander.  “Currently our District Emergency Management office continues coordination with local and state emergency management offices to ensure the Corps of Engineers is doing our part to make as many resources available when requested.”

Photos from the field - stay tuned as this will be updated soon

May 1, 2019 - Press Release - Corps of Engineers ready to respond to rising water levels

May 6, 2019 - Press Release - USACE deploys technical team to Lake Ontario shoreline

For questions regarding Plan 2014 please contact:
Frank Bevacqua, IJC Public Affairs
Telephone: 202-736-9024        
Cell: 202-412-1017 

USACE Public Affairs, Andrew Kornacki