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Website launches to survey Thousand Islands attractions

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CLAYTON — A new website has been launched to help discover what locals in the waterfront communities from Cape Vincent to Morristown think is beautiful.

The new website, www.scenic1000islands.com, scheduled to launch today, will use survey answers for the application for a New York state Scenic Area of Statewide Significance.

The website survey will be open through July 30. It is part of a combined effort by the Thousand Islands regional assessment project to receive SASS designation. The grant is available through the state Department of State’s Office of Communities and Waterfronts program.

“What is considered scenic to one person might not be the same for another person,” said Valerie L. Johnson, project coordinator. “If we could get 100 surveys or more from each town, that would be a good representation. More would also be better.”

The Office of Communities and Waterfronts program is expected to help the waterfront towns — Hammond, Morristown, Alexandria, Orleans, Clayton and Cape Vincent — to secure more grants to promote and develop the region’s tourism industry.

Municipal officials and organizations from Cape Vincent to Morristown are asked to log onto the website to view and rate the scenic value of photographs of the Thousand Islands on a scale of one to 10. This information then will be used in the SASS application.

“We want to determine what people in the area want to see,” Ms. Johnson said. “To collect the most data, we decided using online was the best way possible.”

Ms. Johnson said the website also will include a full description of the project, its goals and background on the consultants working on the project.

The project held its first public information meeting March 28 at the Antique Boat Museum, with 50 guests from the area communities.

The advisory committee meeting included input from state Department of State project officers, consultants from Dodson & Flinker, Ashfield, Mass., and representatives from towns, villages, community organizations and federal, county and state agencies.

The public will have a second chance to contribute an opinion about the SASS project at a public meeting at 7 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Clayton Opera House. At the meeting, the findings of the survey and other data collected throughout the region will be discussed.

Next winter, Ms. Johnson said, the consultants will go through the data they’ve collected to come up with geographical models of the lake shore and riverfront area, aerial and ground level photos and other models for potential projects. “We’re about 50 percent done, but we’re just getting to the hard part to determine what people want to see here,” she said.

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