Managing the N.H. Shoreline

By Rebecca Zeiber, N.H. Sea Grant Science Writer

Sea walls, sand dunes, beach nourishment, living shorelines, coastal retreat — the list of methods communities can employ to deal with sea level rise and storm surge is growing by the year. There are no easy solutions, but the success of any strategy or combination of strategies relies on the ability for people to work together to find the right solution.

The room was packed at the NH Shoreline Management Conference in Portsmouth.

Groups look at maps during a mock decision-making exercise at the NH Shoreline Management Conference

With that in mind, more than 100 stakeholders gathered at the N.H. Shoreline Management Conference in Portsmouth on Dec. 11, 2014, to discuss techniques that the state’s coastal communities can use to adapt to sea-level rise, storm surge and increasing flooding events.

Corey Riley, manager for the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Greenland, N.H., began by stating that the goal for the conference was to promote a dialogue. She cited a recent study that found that sea walls built to protect Japan from tsunamis provided very little benefit. However, the ability of those communities to work together was more important than engineered structures in response to a water-based disaster. Combining everyone’s strengths and expertise and listening to one another will help to promote social cohesion in the Seacoast communities, Riley added.

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Experts from NH, ME, and MA discuss the things they're learning about shoreline management

Experts from NH, ME, and MA discuss the things they’re learning about shoreline management

 

 

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