R-12-08 Coastal infrastructure resilience in a changing climate

Esperanza Stancioff
University of Maine Cooperative Extension & Sea Grant
377 Manktown Road
Waldoboro, ME 04572
Email Esperanza Stancioff

Shaleen Jain & Alex Gray
University of Maine

Nirajan Dhakal
Auburn University

Maine Sea Grant’s work with town and city officials in the Building a Resilient Coast project affirmed their need to address the effects of extreme rain events. In an NSF-funded Sustainability Solutions Initiative project, Marine Extension Team member Esperanza Stancioff worked with hydrologist Shaleen Jain and student research assistant Alex Gray to help Lincolnville, Ellsworth, and other coastal communities better understand and prepare for the potential local impacts of climate change, with a focus on stormwater and flood protection infrastructure. Additional funding from the National Sea Grant Office has enabled the research team to work with the City of Ellsworth at a finer scale, identifying ways to assess the adequacy of culvert design and quantify flood risk for a select set of culverts, integrating hydrologic modeling with local data on future precipitation scenarios. User-friendly models employ GIS and Google Earth to show stormwater infrastructure vulnerabilities and help the community assess and prioritize emergency management needs. The project has led to similar efforts in Damariscotta and Newcastle, with potential applicability to all municipalities. Existing and planned resources include an MPBN-produced video featuring our work titled “Culvert Operations,” a Municipal Stormwater Guide based on data related to changing seasonality of peak flows and higher peak stormwater events, and a community forum on stormwater planning.

Two-year project 2012-2014
National Sea Grant National Strategic Initiative funds