Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Impervious Surface Scan of West-Central New York

Impervious Surfaces and Stormwater

snowmelt runoff flowing into storm drain
Snowmelt runoff flowing into a storm drain

Stormwater running off rooftops, sidewalks, driveways, streets and parking lots collects and carries pollutants into nearby sewer systems and waterbodies. As stormwater moves over these "impervious surfaces," it not only picks up pollutants, but also gains speed and force, causing flooding and erosion. Impervious surfaces also keep rain and melting snow from seeping into the soil and refilling aquifers that supply drinking water. In some cases, sewer systems overwhelmed by stormwater can overflow, allowing untreated waste to flow into local waterbodies.

Project Overview

In 2009, the Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council (G/FLRPC) received a $13,887 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA or Stimulus) grant from DEC to analyze levels of imperviousness within political and watershed boundaries and near major waterbodies in the Genesee/Finger Lakes region.

G/FLRPC used land cover data -- impervious surfaces are a type of land cover -- from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to calculate Total Impervious Cover (TIC) as a percentage of total land cover in an area, such as a watershed. This analysis covers a wide geographic extent and includes a diverse array of information from across the nine-county G/FLRPC region.

Project Status

G/FLRPC finished work on this project in June, 2011. The impervious cover analysis of the Genesee/Finger Lakes region has been completed. The final product of the analysis includes a series of maps and charts describing impervious surfaces that will be helpful for municipalities, watershed groups, Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4), and others working to protect and restore waterbodies in the region. For Geographic Information System (GIS) users interested in performing a more detailed analysis, a database containing the impervious surface information associated with this project is available from G/FLRPC upon request.

map showing percent impervious cover in Greece Ponds watersheds near Lake Ontario
Percentage of land covered with impervious surfaces near Lake
Ontario. This map is part of the Inventory of Impervious Surfaces
in the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region report prepared by G/FLRPC.

A report detailing the procedures used for analysis, along with maps that show the percentage of land covered with impervious surfaces for each of the regional watersheds, is available on the Genesee-Finger Lakes Regional Impervious Surface Scan web page on G/FLRPC's website (see the Links Leaving DEC's Website section on the right for a link).

There are also a limited number of printed copies of the report available. Contact G/FLRPC to request a copy.

Final Progress Report

When each ARRA 604(b) project is complete, DEC requires a final report summarizing the entire project to be submitted. The report includes a description of the project's goals, work accomplished, and final project outcomes.

To view the final progress report for this project, click the following link:

Genesee-Finger Lakes Regional Impervious Surface Scan - Final Report (PDF) (116 KB)

Regional Demographic Information

The Genesee/Finger Lakes region is located along the southern shore of Lake Ontario between Syracuse and Buffalo and extends south to the Finger Lakes. It is composed of nine counties: Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates. The region's 4,825 square miles encompass close to 1.2 million people in 192 cities, towns and villages.

Contact Information


50 West Main Street, Suite 8107, Rochester, NY 14614