Sandwiched between the Saco River and the Atlantic Ocean, in Saco, Maine, Camp Ellis is a historic coastal community under threat from sea level rise. The area has experienced property damage and loss during winter storms for many years. Kleinfelder provided the City with a comprehensive review of resources and a plan forward using climate resiliency planning and a cultural resources survey.
The Camp Ellis neighborhood sits just north of the Saco River’s mouth into the Atlantic Ocean. Climate change has exacerbated an issue unintentionally caused by jetties that were constructed in the late 19th century to improve conditions at the mouth of the river. The neighborhood has seen almost 40 homes destroyed over the last hundred years. Camp Ellis is a historically middle-class community and there was a general lack of understanding around the historical significance of the area. Many of the buildings have undergone insensitive changes and additions over time, resulting in a loss of historic fabric. A lack of guidance from local, state, and federal agencies, as well as limited financial resources, have contributed to a delay in resiliency planning. Because the area is currently experiencing the effects of climate change and sea level rise, there was increased urgency to complete a study of the area and future planning.
Kleinfelder’s solution identified a holistic approach for typography of 134 resources, using available sea level rise projections for a 30-year time horizon. The final report provided strategies for protecting and recovering from flooding.
The study further identified a potential historic district for the client to designate in the future. This recommendation was made after completing an architectural history survey to determine the eligibility of resources for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Kleinfelder team documented and evaluated the entire neighborhood, providing each address with projected flood levels and a list of character-defining features.
Kleinfelder’s study identified a holistic approach for typography of 134 resources, using available sea level rise projections for a 30-year time horizon. The neighborhood was considered as a whole rather than individual properties. The Kleinfelder team combined climate resiliency planning and architectural history to make recommendations to guide the city’s future planning.
City of Saco