While the sea level rises, Maine plans accordingly

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine Law, Maine State Planning Office, and Maine Geographical Society prepared a plan called Anticipatory Planning for Sea-Level Rise Along the Coast of Maine on how Maine can prepare for the erosion of shoreline due to rising sea levels.

The plan deals with possible scenarios of climate change for the Maine people. Maine’s soft coasts such as coastal sand dunes, coastal wetlands, and coastal eroding bluffs are in danger of erosion due to high sea levels, according to the plan.

“For beaches and coastal wetlands, that erosion and inundation would be exacerbated by an accelerated rate of sea-level rise associated with global climate change,” wrote researchers in the plan. Researchers projected that climate change will significantly eat away sand beaches in coastal Maine.

The report goes into ways in which the state of Maine can avoid these dangers by following a few possible adaptive strategies, planning and regulatory policies, and education.

Possible strategic plans for Maine were anticipatory actions such as finding a cost-effective design in the change position of the coastline and extreme weather patterns, dissuade plans to make buildings on possible places of erosion, increase the number of publicly owned or controlled buildings by waterfront and develop nature preserves by the coastal wetlands, according to the plan.

“The earlier that the public is on notice of the likelihood of rising sea level and the policy choice of a retreat strategy, the more likely the regulations are to withstand legal challenge,” wrote the researchers of the plan.

The plan projected change in shoreline by the year 2100. If the sea levels rise by half of a meter, the projected shoreline will degrade by 3 to 35 meters, according to the plan.

Old Orchard Beach will lose up to 80 acres of land due to a sea level rise of 50 centimeters, according to the plan.

“Since 1991, about $3.9 million has been channeled into public improvements in waterfront and downtown areas which are potentially at risk,” wrote researchers of the plan.

In a projection of climate change effects on Maine’s wetlands is approximately 10 to 350 feet of wetland coastline loss, according to the plan.

“There are more than 5,000 acres of salt marsh in the combined Casco and Saco Bay regions; they comprise roughly 20% of the regions’ coastline,” wrote researchers in the plan.

If Maine plans accordingly to projections, we may have a chance on saving our economy and our coastlines.

Published by Heather

Hello, I'm a 30-something science writer. I have my bachelor's degree in communication and media, and my associate's degree in liberal studies with a science concentration.

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