Session: Managing a Changing Coastline Through Regulation, Mitigation, and Adaptation

Moderator: Bob Foley

This session will examine a wide range of approaches to creating resilient coastal communities, including regulating development and redevelopment, modifying existing coastal barriers, mitigating the erosive effects of artificial structures, and instituting community-scale adaptation approaches. Presentations will include an overview of Maine’s approach to regulating development in the coastal sand dune system; a case study of the Long Sands Beach seawall reconstruction in York, Maine according to those rules; an examination of Camp Ellis (Saco, Maine), its history and lessons learned; and ideas on how to keep our coastal communities thriving in the face of rising seas.

Maine’s Rules for Development and Redevelopment in the Coastal Sand Dune System.

This presentation is an overview of the Coastal Sand Dune Rules, which contain the standards for development and redevelopment in the dune system and include criteria for beach nourishment.

Marybeth Richardson

Marybeth Richardson is the director of the Department of Environmental Protection’s Southern Maine Regional Office in Portland, with years of experience in administering Maine’s Coastal Sand Dune Rules. She is currently working with other state and federal partners on beach nourishment and climate resiliency issues as part of the effort to meet the goals of Maine Won’t Wait, the state’s climate action plan.

York’s Long Sands Beach Seawall Improvements – Designing, Permitting, Constructing and Meeting Public Expectations while Addressing Maine’s Sand Dune Rules

This presentation gives an overview of recent repairs and improvements made to the seawall at Long Sands Beach in the Town of York, Maine. We discuss the history of development and shoreline protection at Long Sands Beach, the need for emergency repairs required following damage from recent storm events, design of improvements to the seawall, as well as public expectations and requirements for after-the-fact permitting with the State’s Department of Environmental Protection. We will present coastal engineering analyses performed to demonstrate that the improved structure would be less damaging to the coastal sand dune system, existing wildlife habitat and adjacent properties as required by the Maine Sand Dune Rules and discuss the challenges in quantifying wave reflection from the structure as a proxy for beach erosion potential and damage to the sand dune system. We will present the past two years of beach monitoring at Long Sands beach in which seasonal surveys of sand elevation are compared to historical data along 12 cross-shore beach transects.

Nathan Dill
Scott Hayward
Dean Lessard

Nathan Dill and Scott Hayward are with Ransom Engineers. Nathan is a professional engineer practicing in the area of coastal engineering; Scott studied Coastal Engineering in Graduate school, where he researched coastal erosion, and has worked in Maine as a coastal engineer, specializing in hydrodynamic modeling, flood mapping, and erosion modeling. Dean Lessard is a Professional Engineer and the Public Works Director for the Town of York, Maine.

A Case Study of Camp Ellis, Maine: History and Lessons Learned, 1867-Present

Located at the mouth of the Saco River, in Saco, Maine, Camp Ellis has suffered significant loss of shoreline since the construction of a large stone jetty on the northeast side of the river mouth. As a result, 36 homes have been lost. This presentation will review the actions taken over the past century and one-half, but more importantly will offer fresh ideas for protecting the homes and infrastructure at Camp Ellis. The session will be highly interactive, with audience participation strongly encouraged.

Pete Hanrahan

Pete Hanrahan has planned, executed, and presented at dozens of coastal erosion control training events in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut since 2008, and has worked on coastal erosion control and living shoreline issues at both Camp Ellis and at the University of New England.

Beach Towns Without the Beach – How to Keep Our Coastal Communities Thriving with Rising Seas

As sea level rise forces shoreline retreat, iconic “beach towns” face an existential threat – not only to their structures and tax-bases, but to their very identities. How can the beach towns of New England maintain their water-centered identities and economies while moving away from the water? This presentation tackles this question through discussion of a coastal-resilience planning case study in New Hampshire. To kick off its Community Master Plan update effort, the town contracted SLR Consulting to develop a Master Plan Vision, as well as a Master Plan coastal resilience chapter. This presentation will review a suite of tools that the coastal resilience chapter identifies to promote gradual realignment of investment and development inland, while maintaining the community’s identity and connection to the coast. The project highlights the importance of integrating coastal resilience planning with master planning, economic development planning, and community engagement. Participants will be encouraged to contribute their own ideas and perspectives.

Noah Slovin

Noah Slovin is an Associate Climate Resilience Planner at SLR Consulting, and for over six years he has been helping to build equitable, sustainable, and resilient communities through public participation, data analysis, and planning best practices.