Project

Preparing Communities for Sea Level Rise

Building community capacity to prepare for sea level rise

Whether directly or indirectly, we will all feel the impacts of continued sea level rise. In order to build resilient communities that can adapt and respond to rising sea levels, we must increase our collective understanding of sea level rise impacts. Informed decision-making at individual, community wide, and regional scales will require continuous collaborative efforts where ideas, solutions, adaptive techniques, and experiences can be exchanged and discussed freely. We aim to promote the public's ability to interpret the impacts of sea level rise by providing access to sea level rise data and visualization tools, and by encouraging and facilitating public dialogue.

Project Goals:

  • Build public understanding about the direct and indirect impacts sea level rise, as well as more frequent and intense coastal storms and precipitation events.
  • Amplify the importance of data when making decisions clouded by uncertainty.
  • Increase public access to sea level rise data visualization tools.
  • Provide opportunity for coastal communities to engage in dialogue about the local impacts of sea level rise projections.

Visualize how sea level rise will impact our coasts

"Preparing Coastal Communities for Sea Level Rise" is a community education event that builds participant knowledge about the science of sea level, future projections, and local impacts.

Using global scientific data paired with local history and case studies ensures the event provides regionally relevant information to participants. Interactive data sets and maps combined with facilitated discussions help residents visualize the impacts of sea level rise and weather events on local community resources like roads, hospitals, schools, and other valued assets, and how climate projections will increase these impacts over time.

While many have heard about sea level rise and storm surge, it's challenging to internalize what this means for their own communities. We believe that making sure our communities are informed and know what they can expect as sea levels continue to rise will allow our region to more carefully and effectively prepare for this critical challenge.

Community Engagement

To date we have engaged 2,045 Maine residents, through 60 community events, in 32 communities, ranging from York to Mount Desert Island.

A man and a woman use a bright interactive touch screen in a dark room.
Community members sit in chairs in a large room to listen to a presentation.

Get involved

To schedule a "Preparing Coastal Communities for Sea Level Rise" event for your community, please contact Gayle Bowness.


Gayle Bowness
Gayle Bowness Science Education Program Manager (207) 228-1647 [email protected]

Project Partner

NOAA logo

This project was a grantee of NOAA’s Environmental Literacy Program. This program strives to support communities in becoming resilient to current and future environmental hazards. It envisions communities with the capability to anticipate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from significant multi-hazard threats with minimum damage to social well-being, the economy, and the environment.

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