Nature-Based Solutions for a Climate Ready Southern Maine

SMPDC’s Regional Sustainability and Resilience Program has partnered with the Wells Reserve and the York County Soil and Water Conservation District on a new grant-funded project to advance nature-based solutions (NBS) for protecting southern Maine’s people, property, and the environment from coastal climate hazards. The project will develop an online interactive mapper that shows the suitability of coastal locations for NBS to address coastal hazards based on site specific conditions. The web-mapping tool will provide crucial information to municipalities, property owners, and coastal adaptation professionals about where NBS could be implemented to mitigate erosion and flood hazards while enhancing resilience. The project arose from the ongoing Climate Ready Coast – Southern Maine (CRCSM) project and aims to fill knowledge gaps identified through CRCSM regarding where nature-based solutions (NBS), such as living shorelines, might be appropriate along southern Maine’s coastline.

In addition to the web-mapping tool, the project team will develop conceptual designs of NBS at priority locations in southern Maine’s three coastal geomorphic settings (beach/dune, back barrier marsh/estuary, and coastal bluff). We will also develop a ‘lessons learned’ document for incorporating local, indigenous and other place-based knowledge into NBS consideration, design, and implementation for coastal resilience. These resources will complement the web-mapping tool and support NBS decision making processes. Finally, the project will foster community engagement through listening sessions and a culminating workshop for municipal officials, committee members, and regional coastal adaptation practitioners.

Expected Work Products:

  • Online interactive mapper of NBS site suitability in southern Maine
  • Lesson Learned document about place-based knowledge and NBS

Project timeline: February 2023 – January 2025

Funding: Private foundation

Project contact: Abbie Sherwin, Senior Planner & Coastal Resilience Coordinator