Coastal Resilience Project~Part 2

Marblehead Waves



APRIL 6, 2022

Click here for the link to the March 28 meeting, This was the  Second Community Meeting, held March 28, 2022, addressing Coastal Resilience for Marblehead Municipal Light Department and adjoining public lands

Video Courtesy of MHTV Marblehead, MA 

March 29,2022

The Town, in partnership with the Marblehead Municipal Light Department received a second Coastal Resilience grant from Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management.  Marblehead was one of nineteen coastal resilience projects funded through the program. The Town has demonstrated a strong commitment to implement proactive strategies to address coastal flooding and sea level rise. Marblehead completed a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) plan in 2018 and developed conceptual adaptation options for public infrastructure in 2020 with a Coastal Resilience Grant. This project focuses on the Marblehead Municipal Light Department property and  adjoining town owned  parcels along Marblehead Harbor. In addition to structural retrofits of the MMLD and improved designs for seawalls, non-structural measures to address coastal flooding and increase community resilience along the harbor and at flood pathways will be explored throughout the project. The town has hired engineering firms Woods Hole Group, Collins Engineering and Salem Coastwatch for project facilitation.

This link is to information presented public forum heal on Monday March 28th  where Nasser Brahim, Woods Hole Group Senior Climate Resiliency Specialist, will illustrate the updated Flood Risk Analysis that provides future sea level rise scenarios and the increased risks for the Marblehead Municipal Light Department (MMLD) and adjoining public properties. He will explain immediate actions to protect MMLD's critical infrastructure and an incremental approach that can guide structural retrofits, seawall designs and non-structural measures.

The project team continues to seek community input as it investigates what is reasonable flood protection for the area that provides services for commercial and recreational boating, fishing, and a waterfront park.

If you have questions or input, contact Barbara Warren, or Rebecca Curran Cutting

Here is a link to Marblehead’s coastal resilience planning projects to date


FY20 - Marblehead received a MA Coastal Zone Management Coastal Resiliency grant that funded the following and set the stage for more resiliency planning.

Mapping Future Flooding Risks for Marblehead Harbor

Waterfront Structures Assessment – The  Woods Hole Group was contracted to perform an assessment of the existing municipal waterfront structures along Marblehead Harbor. A total of 24 individual structures of varying construction at 18 different locations all around the harbor were included in the evaluation. Available information records were reviewed to provide a historical record of previous permitting and past evaluations of the structures. The goal of these updated evaluations was to provide a current assessment of the general condition of the structures and potential changes that could be considered to improve their resiliency to projected climate change impacts. Click here for the full report.

Detailed coastal flood modeling and mapping under changing climatic conditions (present, 2030, 2050, 2070) were shared by Kirk Bosma, Senior Coastal Engineer and Innovation Director at Woods Hole Group, to 282 people at the Marblehead High School Theater. All coastal communities will soon have access to similar maps so this is an chance to learn how to interpret the maps. A video can be found here. (2/3/2020)

Future of Marblehead Harbor: Climate Adaptation Themes and Concepts

Kirk Bosma returned to present conceptual adaptive strategies in response to increasing sea level and storm surge for the following at risk areas:

  • Front Street, Fort Beach and Little Harbor
  • State Street Landing and Harbormaster Area
  • Marblehead Municipal Light Department
  • Devereux Beach, Goldthwait Reservation, Ocean Avenue and the Causeway

Specific adaptation approaches were introduced that could be implemented overtime based on the following themes:

• Natural Resources emphasizes ecosystem health and resilience

•Protection focuses on protection and maintenance of infrastructure and current use

•Transformation balances current uses with a potential transformation vision. (8/17/20) Click here to view the video

Marblehead Harbor - Partnerships for Adaptation and Resilience

Jim Newman of Linnean Solutions and Sarah Slaughter of the Built Environment Coalition presented potential approaches for public and private partnerships to move resiliency planning and adaptations forward. Click here to view the video.

Marblehead Coastal Resiliency Grant Summary and Next Steps

Presentation to the Marblehead selectmen by Barbara Warren. (9/30/20) Click here to view.

Marblehead Harbor Municipal Structures Visual Assessment Report, June 2020, evaluates current condition of seawalls and potential changes to improve climate resiliency. 

Project's Case Study Report for MA CZM

Marblehead Coastal Resiliency Planning - Next Steps included a community survey. Results will be analyzed and reported after survey closes.