Document Type



The State of Maine’s Beaches in 2017


Maine Geological Survey, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry

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Publication Date


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Augusta, Maine

Abstract/ Summary

The 2017 State of Maine’s Beaches Report is the 7th report in the series coinciding with the biennial Beaches Conference. This report summarizes observed changes of Maine beaches that are monitored as part of the State of Maine Beach Profiling Project (SMBPP; Maine Sea Grant, 2017) and the Maine Beach Mapping Program (MBMAP). The SMBPP uses trained volunteers to collect monthly beach profiles that start at a benchmark (in the frontal dune or in a seawall) and continue shore-perpendicular to roughly the low water line. Fixed starting locations are used with the Emery Method of beach profiling (Emery, 1961). The data are entered by volunteers into an online database where it can be viewed, graphed, and downloaded by others (Maine Shore Stewards, 2015). SMBPP is funded and managed by the Maine Geological Survey (MGS), University of Maine, Maine Sea Grant, and Maine Coastal Program. For the 2017 report, there are ten participating beaches in the SMBPP, as shown in Figure 1. As part of MBMAP, MGS scientists collect shore-parallel data along the seaward extent of dominant dune vegetation along the larger beach systems in southern and mid-coast Maine. Data are collected using a Real Time Kinematic Global Positioning System (RTK-GPS) on an annual basis, and are compiled in GIS by the MGS. MBMAP beaches are shown in Figure 1. This report will focus on documenting changes at SMBPP and MBMAP beaches since 2010. Previous editions of this report (2011 and 2013), in addition to more recent studies (see Setting the Stage: Sea Level Changes and Storms) found that the winter of 2010 was especially erosive due to storms and higher than normal sea levels. Thus, this report will inspect subsequent changes at beaches from 2010 through summer 2016, and winter 2017, from available data.


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