Preparing for Sea Level Rise

The impacts of climate change are becoming increasingly visible in our state and across the nation. You've probably noticed more frequent news coverage of intense storms, unusual temperatures, ocean warming, and coastal flooding.


This year, we began hosting workshops — here in our lab and along Maine’s coast — to address these challenges in Maine’s coastal communities.

In a 90-minute workshop, entitled “Preparing for Sea Level Rise,” we explore the data behind this critical climate impact. Together with attendees, we examine models projecting impacts in their communities and discuss potential resiliency measures. Ensuring the region’s resiliency to sea level rise requires a scientifically informed and engaged public, now and in the future.

In 2017, we reached 435 participants, who explored global and local data sets over the course of 18 separate workshops across the state. The interactive learning experience uses map-based software, which allows participants to focus on personal places such as their homes, work, favorite park, or school and to investigate how these places might be impacted by sea level rise. The program includes threads that focus on community resources such as transportation, green spaces, or wildlife habitat, as well as historic maps, impacts of coastal storms, and global resiliency options.


Science Education Program Manager Gayle Bowness leads the Sea Level Rise program. In addition to leading these in-person experiences, Gayle has appeared at other community events and in the media. For more, see her recent feature on News Center Maine: What rising sea levels mean for The Gulf of Maine.



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