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EBC Climate Change Program: Shoreline Development and Resiliency – The Role of Coastal Structures
May 29, 2014 @ 7:30 am - 10:30 am
The Massachusetts shoreline contains a variety of coastal structures designed for shore protection and stabilization including seawalls, bulkheads, revetments, groins, jetties, and sand bags. In total, more than 25% of the open ocean shoreline is armored by some form of coastal protection. Whether designed to prevent shoreline migration, restrict the alongshore movement of sand, or stabilize channels, these structures can have secondary and frequently detrimental consequences for surrounding areas.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has spearheaded several initiatives to promote more effective management of the state’s shoreline and is considered a nationwide leader in addressing coastal management issues. Programs such as the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) StormSmart Coasts provide a wealth of resources to help communities manage issues stemming from erosion, flooding, coastal storms and sea level rise. These resources include initiatives such as the Coastal Community Resilience Grant Program, which recently awarded nearly $1 million in funding to ten coastal communities in support of local climate preparedness efforts, and the Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience Pilot Grant Program, which will provide up to $1.3 million in research and implementation funding for natural or nonstructural approaches to mitigating coastal erosion. In 2013 the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) updated the state’s coastal infrastructure inventory and assessment in support of the 20-year capital plan for coastal protection structures in MA. This year, the 2014 Budget Bill established a Coastal Erosion Commission to document erosion and recommend actions and policies that mitigate the impacts to coastal property without damaging the surrounding environment.
In this EBC program Julia Knisel of CZM will provide an overview of the issues that coastal structures have caused along the Massachusetts shoreline and the programs being used to mitigate those impacts including the coastal resilience and green infrastructure grant programs and the Coastal Erosion Commission. Chris Miller from the Town of Brewster will discuss the town’s initiative to study erosion and sea level rise impacts and relocate vulnerable beach parking areas, funded under the Coastal Community Resilience Grant Program. Kevin Mooney of DCR will provide an overview of the recent structure inventory and an update on the 20-year capital plan for coastal protection structures in MA. Finally, John F. Shea of Mackie Shea O’Brien, P.C. will provide examples of “soft” coastal structures that have been permitted to save homes on eroding coastal banks and beaches.
Continuing Education Certificates are awarded by the EBC for this program (2.5 training contact hours). Please select this option during registration if you wish to receive a certificate.
Director – Coastal Hazards, RPS ASA
- Julia Knisel, Coastal Shoreline & Floodplain Manager, Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management
- Chris Miller, Director, Department of Natural Resources, Town of Brewster, Massachusetts
- Kevin Mooney, Senior Waterways Engineer, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
- John F. Shea, Esq., Shareholder, Mackie Shea O’Brien, P.C.
Visit the Presentations section of the EBC website to view the available presentations from this program.