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overhead view of lake ontario shoreline

Niagara Orleans C.L.E.A.R.

Coastal Lakeshore Economy And Resiliency initiative

Niagara-Orleans Region CLEAR Plan

​Niagara-Orleans Region Coastal Lakeshore Economy and Resiliency (CLEAR) Initiative

The CLEAR Initiative and planning process in each of the five regions was completed by the NYSDOS and consultants in March 2022.  The plan implementation strategy and proposed projects are under active review

What is CLEAR? 

In response to changing lake conditions, including the extreme high and low water levels experienced over the past decade, the New York State Department of State (DOS) is supporting resilience planning efforts in Lake Ontario shoreline communities.

The Niagara and Orleans Counties Coastal Lakeshore Economy and Resiliency (CLEAR) initiative developed a strategic plan to increase long-term resiliency to flooding and storm events in shoreline communities, and to pursue new, more resilient paths for community growth.

The development of the CLEAR plan was guided by a local steering committee with the support of NYS agency partners and a consultant team. Public engagement throughout the process ensured the plan is a reflection of local needs and opportunities that will serve as a useful tool for building local capacity to adapt and thrive in the face of changing lake conditions. The CLEAR initiative builds on local plans as well as the 2019 Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI).   

​The Governor launched the CLEAR initiative in February 2020. The planning process kicked off in April and ran through 2021.  


  • Provide guidance for vibrant communities to thrive in changing and variable lake levels and conditions

  • Connect the coastal environment through resilient innovative strategies and adaptive uses

  • Develop and implement resilience strategies for shoreline property owners and managers

  • Create coastal development pattern goals that provide continued opportunities for existing and new recreation and employment

  • Bring together local governments, organizations, and leaders who are empowered to protect their communities and create new, more resilient paths for community growth

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Photo: Ramboll


“Resilience is…the capacity for a community and its ecosystem to withstand extreme events and other forces or risks; quickly recover the interconnected social, economic and ecological systems’ structure and function in the aftermath of a disaster; and develop ongoing adaptability to rapidly changing environmental conditions and forces. (NYS CMP, 2016)”

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