Investigating Sea Level Rise

Tidings | Jul 16, 2021

A new community science effort invites coastal communities to document the impacts of sea level rise.

waves crash on a sea wall with a blue filter over the photo

As the foremost global challenge of our time, climate change can feel enormous and complex — but it also has concrete local impacts that we can act on. For example, in many Maine communities, sea levels are rising, storms are intensifying, and coasts are flooding more frequently.

Many of these coastal communities seek to understand how weather and sea level contribute to flooding, erosion, and damage to coastal infrastructure, but in doing so, they face two major obstacles: lack of access to locally relevant scientific information, and low rates of engagement and understanding among taxpayers and residents.

A new coastal flooding citizen science project, hosted on our Ecosystem Investigation Network, addresses these challenges by supporting the collection of baseline water level information and public perspectives on flooding. Communities can use this baseline data to measure and prepare for the future effects of sea level rise and changing storm patterns.

As part of the project, we invite you to contribute data that examines the relationship between water levels and weather in your community. There are two ways to participate:

  1. Upload observational data from anywhere along the coast. Look for evidence of high tide marks, erosion, flooding, or just share the water level from a location you care about.
  2. We’re working with municipalities (Belfast, Vinalhaven, Portland, South Portland, and others statewide) to target coastal flood monitoring sites. If you’re in one of those towns, you can go to those places to record and upload your observations.

Want to get involved?

Explore this community science project more deeply and sign up to participate.

Looking for more?

Contact Program Manager Gayle Bowness to learn more about how your town can engage in this community science effort.

Gayle Bowness
Gayle Bowness Municipal Climate Action Program Manager (207) 228-1647 [email protected]

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