2015 Maine Beaches Conference

Maine Beaches Conference logoNote: Beaches Conference PowerPoint presentations are available on request by emailing the Webmaster. Please be specific about which presentation(s) you are interested in, including the year in which the session occurred.

Presenter & Exhibitor Bios 

Who visits Maine’s beaches, and why?

[Who visits Maine’s beaches, and why? Session Notes] (Presentation available)

Charles Colgan, Professor Emeritus of Public Policy and Planning, University of Southern Maine, and Paige Farmer, Executive Director, Maine Beaches Association
A survey of more than 3,000 visitors to beaches in the Saco Bay, Wells-Ogunquit, and New Hampshire regions identified visitor characteristics, and key features of beaches that attracted visitors. The largest survey of Maine beach users conducted to date, the project provides key information for understanding the beach as a tourist resource and also characteristics of the beach-using populations, who will affect policies to respond to changes in water quality and the beaches themselves. In 2015, the study of beach populations will continue in different locations. An overview of the 2014 data and a preliminary analysis of 2015 data can help us understand the beach population to support both tourism and sustainability.

Adapting to a Changing Coastline Using Best Practices and Following the Rules

[Adapting to a Changing Coastline Session Notes]

Coastal Erosion Control Technology – the Latest (Presentation available)
Peter Hanrahan, E J Prescott, Inc.
This presentation will be developed to bring conference participants up to date on coastal erosion control products and techniques that are successfully being employed all around the world. As sea levels rise and coastal storms intensify, the demand has never been higher for solutions to tough coastal erosion control problems. With an eye on the future, this session will attempt to connect attendees with innovative solutions and an ever-expanding toolbox.

Adaptive Management for Coastal Erosion (3 Presentations available)
Sue Schaller, Bar Mills Ecological
Frontal beaches can be harsh and dynamic environments, and sand dune systems provide a range of ecological services that are often not fully understood or recognized. Healthy dune systems can act as a dike against flooding, and reduce the energy of storm waves during overwash events. In fair weather they provide privacy buffers, wildlife habitat, and help promote shorefront communities as a destination.

In 2013, some 30+ properties on Saco Bay lost 12-14 feet of frontal dune. A number of methods were tested and adapted in an effort to hold the current dune edge. These included restoring a sloped dune front to allow wave run-up, mulching with seaweed, and replanting. Several large sites were fully successful while one section of shoreline experienced mixed results. Efforts continue to find cost-effective mitigation techniques for property owners. These include passive sand trapping, simple fencing, elevating walkways, removal of non-native invasive species, and restoring the community of native dune vegetation. In combination, these actions increase the ability of dune vegetation to be self-maintaining.

With moderate support and maintenance, dune systems can provide higher levels of protection to individual properties and shorefront communities. Evaluating dunes as a form of live infrastructure, and then providing regular maintenance, offers the best option for optimizing the long term protective values this resource can provide.

Dune Restoration – Community-based Approaches (Presentation available)
Alyson Eberhardt, NH Sea Grant and UNH Cooperative Extension
Sand dunes provide a natural buffer from storm events, protect the coastline against flooding and erosion associated with storms, and maintain beaches. However, the sand dunes of the Great Marsh Complex (MA and NH) have been impacted by development and disturbance over the past two centuries. Given increases in the frequency and severity of storms, restoring dunes where they have been destroyed or degraded is a critical shoreline management practice for increasing coastal resiliency. NH Sea Grant/UNH Cooperative Extension and UNH are working in partnership with state and municipal decision makers, local schools and community members to restore dunes that have been destabilized in NH and MA. The primary goals of our efforts are to

    1. build coastal resilience to climate change and enhance wildlife habitat through sand dune restoration,
    2. evaluate an experimental approach to increasing resilience by planting a diversity of plant species, and
    3. engage local citizens in restoration and outreach efforts in order to create a network of informed citizens and landowners.

This presentation will provide an overview of the current dune restoration work, including successes and challenges, as well as our efforts to enable landowners to continue this work beyond the project period.

Maine’s Coastal Sand Dune Rules (Presentation available)
Marybeth Richardson, Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection
This presentation will provide a general overview of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s Coastal Sand Dune Rules, and will include information specifically focused on how dune construction and erosion management activities are regulated by the Rules.

Permitting at the Beach (Presentation available)
William Walsh, Walsh Engineering Inc.
Permitting and constructing projects along the Maine beaches provides significant challenges and opportunities. There are various layers of environmental permits and requirements that are needed to permit construction within the Dune that include Maine DEP sand dune, Local site plan permits, Shoreland zone requirements, and the impending FEMA flood zone requirements. The presentation will focus on a case study of a project in a regulated Sand Dune system.

Forecasting Hurricanes and Preparing for Their Impacts

[Forecasting Hurricanes and Preparing for Their Impacts Session Notes]

Overtopping of Seawalls (Presentation available)
Anthony Mignone, National Weather Service
Seawalls and stone armored revetments provide a tremendous amount of protection against wave attack since they absorb and or deflecting most of the wave energy striking them. While they are an effective forward defense they do in many cases allow a tremendous amount of water to wash over their crests as large waves strike their face. This overtopping water can be hazardous to pedestrians or vehicles adjacent to the structure. Significant overwash can also result in flooding from ponding water and damage to infrastructure.

This presentation will describe techniques being developed and tested that combine high-resolution wave models with overtopping parameterizations to provide a way of quantifying the overtopping of seawalls and revetments. The parameterizations compute overtopping in units of volume per unit time that can be directly correlated to storm impact and is also useful for the design of drainage around the structure.

This discussion will be particularly geared toward coastal engineers, highway departments, emergency managers, and residence living in the vicinity of shoreline exposed to the open ocean.

Hurricane Inundation Mapping (Presentation available)
Cameron Adams, Maine Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry, Maine Geological Survey
Previously, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) created hurricane inundation maps for Maine to aid emergency management planning. The National Hurricane Center’s Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) model along with best-available topographic data (a 10-m cell size and vertical accuracy of 2.44 m RMSE) were used. Since then, the SLOSH model was updated by the NHC with higher resolution grids of potential storm surge heights, the entire Maine coastline was mapped using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), and a bare earth digital elevation model (DEM) with 2-m cell size and a vertical accuracy of 0.15m RMSE was created. The Maine Geological Survey, in partnership with the Floodplain Management Office and funding from FEMA, used these datasets to create updated Potential Hurricane Inundation Maps, or PHIMs, for Category 1 and 2 hurricanes making landfall at mean and mean high tide. These maps were released through ArcGIS online. Since the creation of these maps, the USACE received funding to complete additional mapping of Category 3 and 4 scenarios. These datasets are vital to emergency management planning communities at the local, regional, and state levels to help prepare for the “what if” scenario of a hurricane landfall in Maine.

Creating Storm Surge Watch and Warning Maps (Presentation available)
John Cannon, National Weather Service
Work with social scientists and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) continues on the “Social Science of Storm Surge” as water (storm surge) remains the most deadly aspect of tropical cyclones. To accomplish this, a panel of subject matter experts was combined with a private vendor (Eastern Research Group) under the guidance of NHC to interview meteorologists, broadcasters, emergency managers and other stakeholders. The goal was to produce a clear and understandable Storm Surge Watch and Warning maps to display such hazards. A prototype of this warning graphic was used during the 2014 tropical season in real-time, during land-falling situations. More importantly, a Storm Surge Inundation Map was created as a result of the social scientist interviews. The detailed inundation maps are dynamic, created “on the fly” in real-time and dependent on many storm factors.

Our findings reflect a “local flavor” from the outcome of a series of meetings with stakeholders along coastal Maine. The presentation will also include a brief discussion of cognitive, affective and social behavior and decision-making on whether to evacuate during these hazardous storm surge situations.

Forecasting Wave, Flooding and Erosion Potential (Presentation available)
Qingping Zou, and Dongmei Xie, University of Maine
The southern coast of Gulf of Maine is prone to flooding due to Nor’easter storm. Accurate and timely forecasts of large waves, high storm level and coastal flooding are critical to the early warning and evacuation procedures to save life and protect community. Coastal inundation maps including sea level rise and storms are powerful visualization tools for vulnerable coastal communities to develop strategies to adapt to coastal hazards in a changing climate.

We will apply the state-of-the art two way coupled ADCIRC-UnSWAN model to study wave and storm level during extreme storm event and their contribution to coastal flooding. The objective of this study is two folds: (1) to provide real-time forecast of wave, coastal flooding and beach erosion potential; (2) generate coastal inundation maps including sea level rise and storm in low-lying areas in Maine. Previous wave forecast at Gulf of Maine is improved by using better wind fields at higher resolutions by the “Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF)” modeling. The multi-scale wave forecast and the tide and surge modeling results are fed into a surf-zone model to predict the overtopping/splash over and erosion at a beach or coastal structure. This “clouds-to-coast” system is then used to generate coastal inundation map including the contribution of sea level rise and storms.

Birds and Other Wildlife on the Beach: Why it matters for the beach, why it matters for you

[Birds and Other Wildlife on the Beach Session Notes]

Birds and other wildlife on the beach: Why it matters for the beach, why it matters for you
Laura Minich Zitske, Maine Audubon, Kate O’Brien, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Brad Zitske and Amanda Shearin, Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
This session will be a collaborative presentation about how wildlife and people can share the beach. Biologists from USFWS (Kate O’Brien), Maine Audubon (Laura Zitske), and MDIFW (Brad Zitske) will share how they work closely together and with stakeholders to monitor and manage Maine’s 50 pairs of nesting plovers and approximately 200 pairs of Least Terns. MDIFW’s Amanda Shearin will share an overview of Maine’s 2015 Wildlife Action Plan and discuss the challenges and opportunities for conserving beach-associated wildlife.

Considering Beach Ecology in a southern California Coastal Vulnerability Assessment – a model for Maine
Monique Myers, California Sea Grant
Beaches are well known for their recreational and esthetic value but the ecological importance of beaches is overlooked. This presentation will discuss work that is being done in Santa Barbara, California to incorporate information about beach ecosystems in local climate change vulnerability assessments. The Santa Barbara Area Coastal Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment is incorporating beach ecology research with USGS coastal hazard and shoreline change modeling to elucidate future impacts to beaches and beach ecosystems.

Coastal Beach Water Quality: Multiple Perspectives

[Coastal Beach Water Quality Session Notes]

Addressing the Challenges for Maine’s Coastal Beaches (2 Presentations available)
Keri Kaczor, University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Fred Dillon, South Portland Water Resource Protection
Maine Healthy Beaches is a coast-wide effort to monitor water quality and protect public health on Maine’s coastal beaches. The audience will learn about the existing and emerging challenges surrounding clean water and what’s being done to address those challenges. This includes examples of local actions to improve water quality and what citizens can do to help keep our valued beaches safe and healthy.

Pollution from Microplastics (Presentation available)
Abigail Barrows, Marine Environmental Research Institute
The Marine Environmental Research Institute (MERI) will share recent findings from microplastic research in Blue Hill and Penobscot Bays.  Since 2012, MERI has studied microplastic distribution, potential pollution sources and ingestion in Maine commercial marine species. The quantity of plastic that has been found in surface waters, why people should be concerned and how citizen monitoring can help lend information to this research will also be shared.

Monitoring Bacterial Pollution – a look at York, ME (Presentation available)
Steve Jones, Erin Urquhart , and Julia Guimond, University of New Hampshire, Jackson Estuarine Lab
An intensive monitoring program for bacterial pollution at the 4 beaches in York Maine was conducted in 2014 to enable development of a management tool for the Town to post advisories during higher risk conditions. The project included testing at ten beach sites and storm drains, and in the Cape Neddick and York river watersheds at up to 6 days a week. Enterococci concentrations and other environmental parameters were analyzed to determine conditions associated with bacteria levels above Maine’s safety limit for marine beaches. A tool for posting advisories during risk conditions was developed and will be used by the Town in 2015. Samples collected during the 2015 beach season will be used to confirm actual bacterial concentrations, which is critical for detection of non-storm related contamination like that associated with excess seaweeds.

Addressing Bacterial Pollution – Best Practices for Municipalities (Presentation available)
Forrest Bell, FB Environmental Associates
Addressing bacteria impairments is a challenge for municipalities as sources are diffuse and treatment options are often limited. To protect their beaches, municipalities seek to take action through the development of a watershed plan, the implementation of 319 grants, and/or town-funded water quality sampling projects. As bacteria sources are difficult to identify, many municipalities struggle to determine the correct actions to take. For instance, typical 319 grants focus on the installation of BMPs to treat stormwater runoff. These BMPs are designed to address some pollutants but most do not necessarily treat bacteria. As such, FBE, a small consulting company based in Portland, ME and Portsmouth, NH, has worked with many coastal municipalities to develop actions that will target bacteria specifically. Workshop attendees will gain knowledge about these actions including Identifying and following up on bacteria hotspots (including faulty septic systems) to target remediation efforts.

Accessing the Maine Coast: Updates from the Courts

[Accessing the Maine Coast Session Notes]

Recent Developments in Law and Policy (Presentation available)
John Duff, University of Massachusetts, Boston
This presentation will highlight recent developments in law and policies governing shoreline access. The balance between public and private interests in coastal access has been tested by conflicts in Maine and elsewhere.  In some states, courts have recognized and instituted a ‘doctrine of neighborly accommodation.’ Recent issues in Maine shine a light on a version of that concept in the form of a ‘presumption of permission’ principle. This rule as well as a variety of other means for the public to secure access to the coast will be examined.

The State of the Law – prescriptive easements and the public trust doctrine (Presentation available)
Amy Tchao, Drummond Woodsum Attorneys
In light of the Law Court’s re-issued decision in Almeder v. Town of Kennebunkport (the Goose Rocks Beach case) on December 9, 2014, this presentation will discuss two primary topics: (a) an update on the state of the law on public prescriptive easements and the public trust doctrine in the wake of this decision, and how the Law Court’s decision (and other lower court decisions, such as the Cedar Beach decision in Harpswell , and the Owls Head decision) may impact public beach access litigation in the future; and (2) alternatives to beach-rights litigation for securing lasting public beach access through partnerships among municipalities, other entities, beach users and private landowners.The proposed presentation would discuss the experience of the Town of Kennebunkport in the Goose Rocks Beach lawsuit, including a discussion of the various court rulings impacting this case, as well as the negotiated resolution with more than 60 beachfront owners on Goose Rocks Beach in 2012 which ultimately resulted in a beach use agreement and management ordinance covering more than half of the two mile stretch of beach. The negotiated settlement agreement is unique in Maine with regard to its multi-faceted approach to balancing the needs of beachfront landowners and beach users and the regulatory role of a municipality.

The audience would learn about the effects of ongoing beach-rights litigation on a coastal community. It would also hear about the Town’s success in reaching a negotiated alternative to litigation, as well as provide an update on the state of the law governing beach access disputes that remains in flux in light of the Law Court’s December 9th, 2014 decision in the Goose Rocks Beach case.

Engaging Communities in Conversations about Climate Impacts

[Engaging Communities in Conversations about Climate Impacts Session Notes]

Trading Places – using role-play to understand how a community plans for climate impacts (Presentation available)
Anne Cox, Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve

Exploring Attitudes about Sea Level Rise (Presentation available)
Laura Sewall and Valerie Pendleton, Harward Center for Community Partnerships, Bates College

Through Children’s Eyes: measuring local climate change impacts with kids (Presentation available)
Ruth Indrick and Becky Kolak, Kennebec Estuary Land Trust

Understanding Floodplains and Flooding: Risks, Maps, and Insurance

[Understanding Floodplains and Flooding: Risks, Maps, and Insurance Session Notes]

Introduction to the National Flood Insurance Program (Presentation available)
A Guide for Coastal Property Owners: Sue Baker, Maine Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry, Floodplain Management Program
This presentation will cover the basic program standards for new development/redevelopment in mapped floodplains and an overview of flood insurance requirements.

Updates to Maine Coastal Flood Insurance Rate Maps: What a Homeowner Should Know (Presentation available)
Jenn Curtis, Maine Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry, Floodplain Management Program
This presentation will cover what makes the new maps different from the previous maps, things to be aware of when looking at a FIRM, and how to look up and use the map for any property.

Understanding Flood Risk for Real Estate Agents and Coastal Property Owners (Presentation available)
Jim Nadeau, Nadeau Land Surveys
With recent policy reforms affecting flood insurance rates, more public attention has been brought to the National Flood Insurance Program, flood zone mapping and determinations, as well as the impact that flood insurance has on property values and development potential, leaving many people unsure about the value of their biggest investment – their homes. Real estate consultants have a particularly important role in helping their clients understand the effect on purchasing power, resale value, and long-term investment. This presentation will help clarify common misconceptions about flood zone determinations and will analyze perceived flood risk vs. actual flood risk to help coastal property owners, or potential owners, better understand the challenges or processes they face.

As long as coastal habitation exists, residents and the various consultants who represent them, whether they are real estate, mortgage, or design professionals, should be aware of the processes involved in risk assessment, mitigation, and future planning.

Damariscotta – Getting Ready for Sea-level Rise & Storm Surge

[Session Notes] Presentation available (covers entire session)

Moderator: Anthony Dater, Damariscotta Town Planner
Damariscotta is the most at risk town in Lincoln County from flooding from future sea-level rise and storm surge; and one of the most vulnerable towns on the entire Maine coast. In 2014 the Town received a Maine Coastal Resiliency Grant to study future flood adaptation options for the downtown buildings abutting the harbor parking area. With predicted sea-level rise + storm surge of 1 to 3 feet over the next 50 years, the Town is advised to plan for flooding five feet above the harbor parking lot. This level inundates portions of Main Street, portions of the ground floors and the basements of about 16 of the 22 downtown historic brick buildings, which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The firm Milone & MacBroom was hired to conduct the 2014 flood adaptation study with the cooperation of the Town and the Maine Geological Survey. The findings and recommendations of the study are relevant to all Maine coastal towns with urban areas susceptible to future flooding from sea-level rise and storm surge. The study reviews both individual measures that building owners may take to adapt their own buildings but also community adaptations that the Town could take for protecting groups of buildings. The study compares the benefits and costs of the various adaptation methods presented. Damariscotta intends to use the study’s findings and recommendations as the basis for revising its CRS (Community Rating System) to lower the FEMA flood insurance premiums for the affected harbor-side buildings.

Introduction And Brief History Of Project
Matthew Lutkus, Damariscotta Town Manager
Technical Input: Robert Faunce, Lincoln County Regional Planning Commisssion
This talk included a description of scientific factors for sea-level rise and projections over 50-year horizon to 2065 plus future storm surges and future storm flooding probabilities.

Future Flooding Resiliency Study
Dave Murphy, Milone & MacBroom
This talk included a description of Damariscotta Flood Resiliency Study, 2014 and summary flood adaption options for Damariscotta.

Waterfront Plan
George Parker, Damariscotta Water front Committee Vice-Chair
This talk covered flood adaptations chosen by the Town and integration into the Waterfront Project Plan.

Infrastructure Adjustments with Flood Adaptation Measures
LeeAnna Libby, Great Salt Bay Sanitary District, and Travis Pryor, Wright-Pierce
This talk covered the integration of subsurface and surface public water and sewer facilities with flood adaptation implementation measures.

Technical Issues With Flood Adaptation and Waterfront Plan
Steven Reynolds, Damariscotta Public Works Director, and Travis Pryor, Wright-Pierce
This talk will address adjustments from the implementation of flood adaptation measures and waterfront plan on stormwater management, snow plowing, water quality and maintenance of the harbor parking lot.

Monitoring Maine’s Marine Invaders (2015)

[Monitoring Maine’s Marine Invaders Session Notes]

Maine’s Marine Invaders (3 Presentations available)
Beth Bisson, Maine Sea Grant, Jeremy Miller, Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, Caroline Casals, Gulf of Maine Research Institute
Representatives of the Maine Marine Invasive Species Collaborative (MMISCo) will begin this session by providing an update on the current status of various marine invasive species issues, research projects, and outreach and monitoring efforts in Maine. The research updates and outreach highlights will focus on projects related to European green crabs, the invasive red marine algae, Heterosiphonia japonica, and the Chinese mitten crab, as well as other species of concern. The monitoring updates will highlight recent activities of programs working around the state, including the Northeast regional Marine Invader Monitoring and Information Collaborative (MIMIC) program, which is coordinated in Maine by Jeremy Miller at the Wells National Estuarine Research Research, and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s Vital Signs Program. Vital Signs is a citizen science program that works with teachers and their students across the State of Maine to monitor invasive species and the native species they impact. The group will then travel outdoors to a nearby MIMIC monitoring site, where the presenters will provide an overview of the MIMIC protocol for floating docks and piers, and inspect marine invasive and native species on an experimental settlement plate mounted to a lobster trap. Maine Sea Grant Associate Director, Beth Bisson, coordinates the MMISCo group, which includes members from nonprofit, university, and research institutions, and state and federal agency staff in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Other presenters will include Caroline Casals (GMRI) and Jeremy Miller (Wells NERR). For additional hands-on practice identifying marine invasive species, please join Bisson, Miller, and Casals earlier in the day, during the morning interactive sessions.

Insights from Beach Profile Monitoring

Insights from Beach Profile Monitoring: The State of Maine’s Beaches in 2015 and the National Weather Service Wave Run-Up Mode (3 Presentations available)
Steve Dickson, Maine Geological Survey, John Cannon, National Weather Service, Beach Profile Monitoring volunteers
This session will summarize results of beach profile monitoring and review erosion trends on Maine beaches. The MGS presentation will highlight findings of the 2015 State of Maine’s Beaches report and examine the influence of the 2009-2010 higher sea levels on beaches in recent years. Field work by volunteers will be graphically displayed and synthesized with additional monitoring of shoreline change conducted by the MGS. Wave run-up and beach erosion from storms will be presented by the NWS for the 2014-2015 winter storm season. Insights and observations from volunteers on trends and the impact of the extreme cold on frozen beaches and dunes will be discussed. These presentations will be supplemented by posters on exhibit.

Connections Between People, Beaches, and Landscapes: New England Sustainability Consortium

[Connections Between People, Beaches, and Landscapes: New England Sustainability Consortium Session Notes]

All participants in this session are researchers on the New England Sustainability Consortium’s Safe Beaches and Shellfish Project. By mobilizing interdisciplinary research capacity across multiple universities in Maine and New Hampshire, the Safe Beaches and Shellfish Project aims to improve the scientific basis for decision-making to support safe beaches and shellfish consumption. Consistent with this over-arching goal, researchers are actively collaborating with diverse beach stakeholders to improve the alignment between ongoing science and the information and decision-making needs of stakeholders. These talks draw attention to the importance of connections among beaches, social and economic processes, watershed processes, and risks from exposure to microbial pathogens in coastal waters. Our session will begin with a brief overview of the project and six short talks and will then transition into a panel discussion of the project’s over-arching research program. We welcome the opportunity to engage with attendees at the 2015 Maine Beaches Conference. 

Do Uplands Affect Beach Water Quality? (Presentation available)
John Peckenham and Avinash Rude Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions, University of Maine

Spatiotemporal Patterns in Coastal Beach Water Quality (Presentation available)
Kate Beard and Fuyu (Frank) Xu, School of Computing and Information Science, University of Maine

Beach Blitz: Connecting Communities and Water Quality Research for Healthier Beaches (Presentation available)
Malin Clyde, Cooperative Extension, University of New Hampshire

Water Quality & Risk: Examining Surfer’s Perceptions of Safe Beaches in Maine and New Hampshire (Presentation available)
Sophia Scott, and Shannon Rogers, Center for the Environment and Department of Environmental Science and Policy, Plymouth State University

Coastal Connections: Place, Beach Use, and Water Quality (Presentation available)
Kathleen P. Bell, Caroline Noblet, Abigail Kaminski, Emma Fox, and Allyson Eslin, School of Economics, University of Maine

Getting to the Beach

[Getting to the Beach Session Notes]

Getting to the Beach: Approaches to accessing and enjoying the Maine coast by means other than acquisition, easements, and litigation
Moderator: Paul Dest, Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve
This session will explore three field-tested approaches focusing on creative and collaborative ways organizations and individuals have arranged for public use and access to Maine’s privately owned shoreline.

    • Bob Sherman, Goose Rocks Beach
      This talk will cover efforts by the community and the Town of Kennebunkport to develop a Beach Use Agreement for public use of the beach.
    • Brian Marcaurelle, Maine Island Trail Association
      This talk will address arranging access through informal agreements and leases for kayakers/boaters to use privately owned islands.
    • Daniel Devereaux, Marine Resource Officer, Town of Brunswick
      This talk will cover securing access for shellfishing across private property to clam flats.

Process Matters: A time-tested framework for creating a beach-use agreement that works
Ben Leoni, Curtis Thaxter, LLC
Most Mainers recognize the benefits of establishing access to Maine’s coastline. Since Maine’s coastline is predominantly privately-owned, establishing a public right to use private waterfront property can be tricky and has historically been achieved through either some sort of eminent domain, litigation, easement or public access agreement. Establishing access through litigation and eminent domain are costly, divisive, and uncertain methods for creating a public right over private property, as evidenced in multiple beach litigation cases up and down the coast. Now, more and more towns, landowners, and interest groups are creating agreements to secure public access while respecting landowner privacy and concerns. This presentation will look to the lessons of past agreements and set forth a time-tested approach for creating a process that accomplishes the goals of reducing litigation and pulling communities, towns, and landowners together to secure public access to Maine’s valuable coast while respecting the private property rights of landowners.

Taking Action: Lessons from a Superstorm

[Lessons from a Superstorm Session Notes] (Presentation available)

Jon Carter, Town Manager, Wells, Maine; Loretta Hoglund, coastal property owner, Drakes Island; Architect and Representative Deane Rykerson, House District 1, Kittery; Businessperson and Representative Robert Foley, House District 7, Wells; Tin Smith, Wells Reserve
Superstorm Sandy and Irene were near misses for Southern Maine and caused widespread and long lasting damage to infrastructure and people in the communities they impacted. How would we have fared if the storms had come closer? Last summer a group of Mainers visited coastal New Jersey, speaking with town officials and residents. They have brought their experience back and will share key lessons learned for homeowners, municipalities and state government to avoid, mitigate, and more quickly recover from such an event. This will be a discussion about what we can do.