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Coastal Erosion Assessment for Maine FIRMs and Map Modernization Plan
Coastal erosion constantly reshapes the Maine shoreline. As erosion occurs, it changes the topography of the intertidal zone and upland areas. Over time, erosion of upland areas results in shoreline recession. Erosion rates along the southern Maine coast have been measured as high as 3 feet per year and erosion affects both sandy beach shorelines and soft sedimentary bluff shorelines. Shoreline recession is accompanied by an increase in coastal vulnerability to flooding, wave action, and an overall increase in the potential for property damage. Changes in shoreline position and topography alter the extent of wave-runup and change coastal flood hazard areas. Flood zones represented in Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) can become out of date in areas where shoreline change is significant.
The purpose of this report is to assess which coastal areas, and hence FIRMs, are subject to erosion and shoreline change to such a degree that the existing flood maps are now or are soon to become obsolete. This information will be used to help the State of Maine prioritize areas that need map modernization in coming years as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Map Modernization Plan for FIRMs.
Last updated on February 8, 2006.
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