Session: Maine and New Hampshire Beach Profile Monitoring
Co-chairs – John Lillibridge and Alyson Eberhardt
Beach Profiling for Students and Teachers
At Loranger Memorial School in Old Orchard Beach, middle school students have been beach profiling for nine years. My current students and I will share our experience and procedures to encourage other students and educators to get involved in monitoring their beaches. My students will explain why beach profiling is necessary, how it helps our community, how we do it, how we submit data, how our beach changes, and how beach profiling relates to our local beach ecosystem and climate change.
Cynthia Nye, Loranger Memorial School
Marcus, Giana, Jacob, Lily, Vanessa, and Libby, Loranger Memorial School
As a teacher, I’ve been supporting our beach profiling project for eight years. I teach gifted and talented students, who help teach 6th graders the process. My students do citizen science projects each year and write articles for Findings from the Field, a student research journal from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.
Seasons of Change at Ogunquit Beach in Southern Maine
Community Volunteer Beach profilers get to see for themselves how sand movements change how the beach looks from month to month. When these dedicated volunteers accumulate their monthly profiles year after year, you can start to see seasonal patterns. Since the Maine Geological Survey collects all the Maine beach profiles in their software (called MGSCollect), we can compare the beach shape between winter and summer year after year. We’ll look together at seasonal patterns for the beach profile line OG07, across Ogunquit Beach in York County, Southern Maine.
Linda Stathoplos, Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve volunteer
John Lillibridge, Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve volunteer
John Zarrella, Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve volunteer
Ph.D. in Oceanography (1989); Southern Maine summer beach visitor for 60+ years; retired National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite products and operations manager
New Hampshire Volunteer Beach Monitoring Program: Outcomes of Community Based Science
The New Hampshire (NH) Volunteer Beach Profile Monitoring Project (VBPMP) was developed in response to an identified need for data to inform beach management decisions in New Hampshire. The VBPMP is a cooperative study between the University of New Hampshire (UNH), NH Sea Grant, and NH Geological Survey. A primary tenet of the NH VBPMP is that volunteers are partners in research. As such, relationship building and consistent, two-way communication with volunteers are foundational to the approach and integrated throughout the process. During this presentation stories and field observations from community members, volunteer survey outcomes, and overall community involvement will be shared to demonstrate how a citizen science approach creates depth and strength in the program.
Wellsley Costello, New Hampshire Sea Grant
Alyson Eberhardt, New Hampshire Sea Grant
Rachel Morrison, New Hampshire Sea Grant
Larry Ward, New Hampshire Sea Grant
The Coastal Research Volunteers
Wellsley Costello has been in their current role at NH Sea Grant Extension for three years. They help train and coordinate volunteers for many citizen science projects and more specifically the NH beach Profiling Program.
New Hampshire Volunteer Beach Monitoring Program: Results and Implications for Management
The New Hampshire (NH) Volunteer Beach Profile Monitoring Program (VBPMP) has measured elevation profiles and sediment volumes at six major NH beaches over the last five years (2017 – Present). The VBPMP is a cooperative study between the University of New Hampshire (UNH), NH Sea Grant Extension, and NH Geological Survey. To date, approximately 660 beach elevation profiles have been measured at thirteen stations at typically monthly intervals (excluding a several-month hiatus due to the pandemic). The results of the monitoring project have facilitated an understanding of seasonal changes in beach morphology, sediment volume, response to storms, and differences in elevation of NH beaches. The database has important implications to local management strategies and decisions. During this presentation the results of the monitoring program will be reviewed with emphasis on: storm response and recovery, such as patterns of erosion and accretion; differences in elevation between beaches, including how both natural beach conditions (e.g. dunes) and infrastructure (e.g. seawalls) affect the elevation of a beach and its ability to buffer against erosional events; and suggestions for management, such as future beach nourishment locations.
Larry Ward, Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, University of New Hampshire
Alyson Eberhardt, Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, University of New Hampshire
Rachel Morrison, Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, University of New Hampshire
Wellsley Costello, Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, University of New Hampshire
Christian Williams, Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, University of New Hampshire
Larry Ward is an Associate Research Professor at the University of New Hampshire Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping and the Department of Earth Sciences. Dr. Ward has a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in Marine Geology. His most recent research focuses on seafloor characterization, coastal and nearshore processes, and the evolution of nearshore marine systems. Ward is the co-director of the New Hampshire Volunteer Profile Monitoring Program (VBPMP).
State of Maine’s Beaches in 2022
The State of Maine’s Beaches in 2022 presentation will summarize observed beach changes (through the summer of 2021) at select beaches using shoreline data collected as part of the Maine Geological Survey’s (MGS) Maine Beach Mapping Program (MBMAP) and Southern Maine Beach Profiling Project (SMBPP). A new methodology developed by MGS for “scoring” beach health using specific beach factors will also be presented. The presentation will coincide with the release of the 2022 written State of Maine’s Beaches report and will also be supplemented by posters at an MGS exhibit. The audience will gain an understanding of the most recent shoreline change trends along southern Maine’s beaches.
Peter Slovinsky, Maine Geological Survey
Stephen Dickson, Maine Geological Survey
Marine Geologist with over 20 years of experience in coastal hazards and resiliency.