All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Future Maine Coastline?

The Natural Resources Council of Maine released this week an analysis of what would happen if the sea level rose one meter or six meters. It's not pretty.
  • 1,000 acres of downtown Portland could be wiped out, including all of Commercial Street and portions of I-295.
  • Most of the village of Kennebunkport along with President Bush’s family home on Walker’s Point could be completely submerged.
  • Bath Iron Works, the state’s largest private employer, would be ruined by the smaller sea-level rise and completely flooded in the higher sea-level rise scenario.
  • Reid State Park in Georgetown would be devastated.
  • More than 12,000 acres of land could be submerged on islands in Penobscot Bay including Vinalhaven and Deer Isle, which would destroy fire departments, public libraries, and other coastal properties.
  • The Cranberry Isles could be radically transformed from five islands to thirteen, losing 30% of their total surface area.
  • Scarborough Marsh, one of the largest and most valued wildlife sanctuaries in New England, would be almost completely destroyed.
  • Of Maine’s 1,250 publicly-protected parcels, more than half would be harmed, even with a one-meter rise. These include 250 areas controlled by the Department of Conservation, 125 controlled by Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, plus 95 Nature Conservancy sites and 22 Maine Audubon sites.
This chart has the top twenty Maine towns affected by a sea-level rise, with the loss of acreage, roads, and municipal buildings, while this page shows in graphic detail how the landscape would change.

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