The Shore and Storm project will identify where Gouldsboro is vulnerable to severe damage and disruption from sea-level rise, storms, and storm surge. Much of that work depends on information from residents. Where have they seen culverts backing up or frequent flooding along roads? Where have they noticed inland erosion, beaver dams that might cause flooding, or rapid loss of land along the shore?
In addition to observations and knowledge from its residents, Gouldsboro needs assistance from hydrologists and other experts who can use maps and projections from the Maine Geological Survey to identify future trouble spots. Just before the holidays, the town finalized a contract with FB Environmental to provide that expertise.
Rich Brereton will lead our project at FB Environmental. Rich received his Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Science from the University of New Hampshire. He oversees several watershed management and water quality projects requiring GIS and water quality data collection, data management and analysis, and hydrologic modeling at FB Environmental. Rich’s primary expertise is in building relationships with stakeholders and collaboratively guiding projects toward state, federal, and municipal regulatory compliance. Over the next year, Rich and his team will:
- Characterize existing hydrologic conditions and critical Infrastructure in the town. They will assemble data about the extent of existing wetlands and water bodies, streams and rivers, floodplains, estuary and marsh extent, and tidal extent, including recorded historical observations of tidal anomalies and storm surges. They will also assemble data on critical infrastructure, including boat launches and working waterfront infrastructure.
- Next, they will identfy areas of vulnerability by overlaying climate change projections onto the maps of existing conditions.
- Finally, they will create a detailed summary that identifies critical areas of vulnerability. The summary will include recommended action items to support climate-ready resource protection and the recommended priority of implementation. It will also include and estimated cost ranges for each action item.
As the Shore and Storm program gets together with residents, the summary and maps from FB Environmental will add to what the residents are seeing in the way of change and threats to infrastructure. By putting together what we are already seeing with projections about what is likely to happen, Gouldsboro will be in a better position to make decisions about upgrading roads, culverts, and other infrastructure that are “climate-ready.”