Saco Bay, Maine Forms Workgroup to Address Sea Level Rise

Project Summary/Overview

​The SLAWG held twenty bi-monthly meetings during 2011 to create a sea level adaptation action plan for the Saco Bay communities of Biddeford, Saco, Old Orchard Beach, and Scarborough.

Project Background

​In 2009, the Saco Bay Sea Level Adaptation Working Group (SLAWG) was created to develop and implement regional climate change adaptation strategies to respond to rising sea levels and become more resilient to coastal storms. The purpose of the SLAWG is to review information from the Coastal Hazard Resiliency Tools Project that has analyzed the problem of sea level rise, to create a Vulnerability Assessment for Saco Bay, and to develop, and implement an Action Plan of implementation strategies for regional solutions. Currently, the SLAWG has completed its initial versions of a Vulnerability Assessment and Action Plan​

Project Implementation

​The Action Plan lists several implementation strategies and objectives including but not limited to:

  1. Use regional approaches to plan for improvements
  2. Create a ranking process and prioritize a list of potential sea level adaptation construction and conservation projects
  3. Comment on dune restoration
  4. Recommend the standardizing of floodplain management standards and building code interpretations
  5. Recommend standardizing ordinance review standards
  6. Complement the efforts of the Towns and Cities that participate in the FEMA Risk Map program but sharing relevant information already generated by SLAWG projects
  7. Coordinate stormwater planning programs with EPA and DEP requirements
  8. Monitor changes to statutes, regulations, and ordinances affecting permitting of improvements

Project Outcomes and Conclusions

​In May of 2011, the initial version of the Action Plan was developed.

Prepared By:
​Sea Level Adaptation Working Group
​​Jonathan T. Lockman, Planning Director
​​(207) 234-2952 x15
​Maine Department of Conservation
​Maine Geological Survey
​Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission