The Towns of Marshfield, Duxbury, and Scituate, located along the southern coastline of Massachusetts, are prone to recurring storm impacts, particularly storm surge. Recognizing that predicted sea level rise and more frequent extreme events will affect their communities, they engaged Kleinfelder to conduct a climate change vulnerability assessment and economic analysis of varied adaptation action plans.
Modeling for the varied coastal aspects of the three towns presented technical challenges. Translating scientific projections of flooding and associated impacts into practical, prioritized adaptation plans required expertise across multiple scientific and engineering disciplines, as well as creativity to devise an original methodology. Engaging stakeholders with competing interests to support a joint adaptation plan involved a collaborative and thoughtful approach.
This study includes high-quality maps and graphics showing the extent and magnitude of sea level rise and storm surge vulnerability, along with recommended adaptation actions. The communities now have a better understanding of their current and future sea level rise and storm surge risks and how resiliency could be built within the system.
The Kleinfelder team created GIS models to develop inundation maps for the 25-, 50-, and 75-year time horizons, using both sea level rise only and sea level rise and storm surge combined. These projections were combined with existing GIS data to determine the most at-risk assets within the towns’ jurisdictions. Recommended adaptation strategies were developed based on those results.