Over the coming years, storms that drop a lot of rain in a short period will become more frequent in our part of the country. That’s better than other parts of the country that are getting drier and drier, but as we learned a year ago, getting a lot of rain all at once can cause real damage. In addition, sea level is predicted to be at least a foot and a half higher by 2050. With that much sea-level rise, a good-sized Nor’easter at high tide will put seawater in places where we’re not used to seeing it.

Knowing this, Gouldsboro wants to plan ahead so that, when doing regular maintenance and repairs to roads, culverts, and other town infrastructure, it can invest, bit by bit, in upgrades to get ready for what’s in the future. Helping the town do that work is one of the big reasons why the town started the Gouldsboro Shore project.

A map showing Grand Marsh Bay extending south toward Prospect Harbor
Grand Marsh Bay extent at 3.9 feet SLR. (Mapping: Maine Geological Survey)

One of the first steps in preparing for more water coming from the sky and the ocean is identifying where flooding, erosion, and other problems seem likely to happen. The town already knows about some of the areas that will need attention because we can spot them on maps from the Maine Geological Survey and other sources. For example, we already know that Grand Marsh Bay is extending southward. The map on the left shows the marsh’s extent at high tide with 3.9 feet of sea-level rise, a situation that Gouldsboro is almost certain to encounter by 2100 and, perhaps, sooner than that.

But not everything is so easy to see. We’re pretty sure that there are streams, culverts, roads, and shorelines where the folks who live there are noticing problems such as flooding, culverts backing up, and streams running out of their banks. As storms get more intense, what we are seeing now is likely to get worse. If we make a list of these places and get them on a map, the town will be in a much better position to take steps now to address problems before they get large.

This is where everyone living in Gouldsboro can help. We need you and the folks you know to tell us where you are seeing flooding and other problems related to stronger storms, increased rainfall, and higher tides. So, we created a form to make it easy for you to tell the town about potential problem areas. Filling out the form will take less than a minute. Once we get it, we will be in touch to learn more about the potential problem. If you have pictures, we would like to see them. We have volunteers who can come out and take more photos in the next big storm. We even have licensed drone pilots who can follow an issue upstream, if necessary, to get a better sense of what is going on. In addition, our consulting partners at FB Environmental can help us use streamflow and watershed maps to project how the situation could change over time.

It all begins with you. If you are seeing flooding, erosion, or something else related to storms or tides, fill out our form so we can take a closer look.

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