Taking place on September 27, 2019, in Belfast, Maine, "ShoreUp Maine 2019: Sea Level Rise—Who Pays and How?" was a daylong conference highlighting innovative strategies to help communities pay for projects to increase their resilience to sea level rise and severe storms.

Event partners included: Island InstituteMaine Coastal Program, New England Environmental Finance CenterCasco Bay Estuary Partnership, and Resilience Works, LLC 

Many Maine communities have identified climate-related vulnerabilities to their homes, businesses, and natural areas due to the impacts of sea level rise and increases in severe storms. Finding funding for adaptation solutions is often a major barrier to addressing these concerns and moving forward. Over 130 local and state officials, planners, and community leaders joined us to learn about:

  • Funding and financing options in Maine
  • The role of innovative public-private partnerships, impact investments, and insurance in financing to build community resilience
  • The economic consequences of taking no action toward adaptation
  • How your community can incorporate project financing into its adaptation planning
  • Creative financing and adaptation examples from across the U.S.

Presentations included panel discussions with municipal and state representatives, case studies from outside of Maine, and opportunities to learn about emerging and innovative financing options to help facilitate your community's next steps. Speakers included representatives from the Maine Office of Policy, Innovation, and the Future, the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, the Maine Department of Transportation, environmental finance experts, local town legislators, and other experts.

See a copy of the ShoreUp Maine 2019 event program here: 
ShoreUp Maine 2019 Event Program

Video and photos


ShoreUp Maine 2019 was broadcast live via Facebook. Video of the all of the sessions can be found near the top our Videos page on Facebook in the playlist, "ShoreUp Maine 2019: Who Pays and How?"

Photo gallery

Click here to see a photo gallery with pictures from the conference:
ShoreUp Maine 2019 Photo Gallery

Keynote Speaker

Island Institute

Dr. Charles Colgan presents the keynote address at the ShoreUp Maine 2019 Conference.

Charles Colgan
Research Director, Center for the Blue Economy
Middlebury Institute of International Studies

As Director of Research for the Center for the Blue Economy (CBE), Dr. Charles Colgan oversees the conduct of research activities and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Ocean and Coastal Economics, the first outlet established for sharing research outside of fisheries that's specific to our oceans and coasts. Dr. Colgan also served as a consultant with the National Ocean Economics Program (NOEP) for more than 14 years. Considered by many researchers to be the best source of data on ocean and coastal economics, NOEP has more than 2,000 regular users across all sectors and geographies in the U.S., and more than 37 nations.

Prior to his role at the CBE, Dr. Colgan served as a Professor of Public Policy and Management in the Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine and was the Chair of the Muskie School’s PhD Program in Public Policy. His long-term economic forecasts are used by the Maine Department of Transportation and the Economic Development Districts of Maine. Prior to joining the USM, he served in the Maine State Planning Office, was State Economist, and Director of Natural Resource and Economic Policy.

In his keynote at the ShoreUp Maine 2019 conference, Dr. Colgan will discuss the climate-related challenges facing our coastal communities and approaches to resilience actions. 

Read Dr. Colgan's full bio here.
Learn more about the Center for the Blue Economy here.
Dr. Charles Colgan Keynote Presentation Slides


Maine Landscape 
  • Mary Ellen Barnes (Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission) 
  • Matt Lutkus (Town Manager, Damariscotta):  Matt Lutkus Presentation
  • Owen Casas (Town Administrator, South Thomaston) 
  • Richard Bates (Select Board Chair, St. George):  Richard Bates Presentation
  • Sarah Curran (Senior Analyst at Maine Governor's Office of Policy, Innovation, and the Future and coordinator for Maine's newly established Climate Council): 
    Sarah Curran Presentation
Case Studies from Away 
  • David Levy (Professor of Management at UMass Boston; Academic Co-Director of the Sustainable Solutions Lab; author of Financing Climate Resilience: Mobilizing Resources and Incentives to Protect Boston from Climate Risks):  David Levy Presentation
  • Dawn Zimmer (Mayor of Hoboken, NJ, 2009-2017; oversaw post-Sandy Rebuild by Design; appointed to Presidential Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, 2013) 
The Cost of Inaction—Release of the Island Institute’s study on the economic cost of inaction in the face of rising seas 

The Island Institute’s Sea Level Resilience Team has engaged several consultants to undertake a study that examines the economic impact of sea level rise on Maine’s coastal communities. This study will compile publicly available tax map and assessor’s data with spatial Sea Level Rise Scenarios published by the Maine Geological Survey to quantify the loss of tax revenue to municipalities caused by property inundation.

The study uses three communities, Vinalhaven, Stonington, Scarborough, as broadly representative of Maine’s diverse and dynamic coast. It is important to note that the economic impact of SLR on any given community will be specific to that community, but this study provides a framework through which communities can take steps toward adaptation. By using representative communities, it provides other communities a general idea of what the economic impacts of SLR to their community might be.

StoryMap of data

The study and the respective data are viewable as an ArcGIS StoryMap online. At the present time, the Vinalhaven study is currently available, and the story map will be updated with the additional communities as they are completed. See the story map below or click here.

Economic and Social Consequences of Climate Change
  • Jon Pottle (Shareholder, Eaton Peabody, specializes in environmental law, municipal law, project development and finance):  Jon Pottle Presentation
  • Dawn Zimmer (Mayor of Hoboken, NJ, 2009-2017, oversaw post-Sandy Rebuild by Design, appointed to Presidential Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, 2013) 
  • Sam Merrill (Environmental Finance Consultant; recognized leader in next generation approaches to benefit-cost analysis for climate adaptation purposes): 
    Sam Merrill Presentation
State of Maine Resources Overview
Emerging & Innovative Financing Options
  • Bruce Van Note (Commissioner, Maine Department of Transportation): 
    Bruce Van Note Presentation
  • Andrea Smith (Director of the Tax Incentive Program, Maine Department of Economic and Community Development) 
  • David Levy (Professor of Management at UMass Boston; Academic Co-Director of the Sustainable Solutions Lab; author of Financing Climate Resilience: Mobilizing Resources and Incentives to Protect Boston from Climate Risks):  David Levy Presentation
  • Charles Colgan (Research Director, Center for the Blue Economy, Middlebury Institute of International Studies) 
Role Play
  • Role play facilitated by Allen Kratz (Principal, Resilience Works, LLC; oversaw floodproofing of Hoboken, NJ Public Library with $2.2M of federal, state, county and municipal funding) and Sarah Cox (Chair of Brooksville Maine’s Comprehensive Plan Committee; Chair of Ordinance Committee; former harbormaster)  Role Play Presentation

Additional Resources

For further reference, this resource list provides key background information on resilience finance. Feel free to use it as a guide to refer to as you move forward with your community's resilience planning. View the resource list here:  ShoreUp Resource List


We want your feedback!

If you attended the ShoreUpMaine 2019 Conference, please considering taking a few minutes to complete this survey and let us know what you thought. Thank you!

Click here to access the online survey


A big thank-you to the following sponsors for helping to make this event possible!