Flooding on Vinalhaven after a storm surge

Flooding on Vinalhaven after a storm surge earlier this year

Staying Above High Water:
Helping Prepare Maine’s Coastal Communities for Coastal Flooding and Sea Level Rise

On November 28, 2017, the Island Institute held a daylong symposium on coastal flooding and sea level rise at The University of Southern Maine in Portland.

The event was designed to bring together community leaders, technical experts, and others working in the field of coastal community adaptation to hear the latest information on coastal hazards, how best to visualize and communicate vulnerability in Maine, and options for adaptation.

Facilitated by Liz Hertz of Blue Sky Planning Solutions, the symposium featured panel discussions focusing on the unanticipated impacts associated with rising seas and case studies of adaptation planning and implementation, as well as presentations from local companies specializing in helping communities identify their vulnerabilities, carry out solutions, and identify existing funding options for applying these strategies. 

Speakers included:

  • Pete Slovinsky, Maine Geological Survey
  • John Cannon, National Weather Service
  • Eileen Johnson, Bowdoin College
  • Jamie Carter, NOAA
  • Sue Baker, Maine Floodplain Management Program
  • Lee Jay Feldman, Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission
  • Ryan Gordon, Maine Geological Survey
  • Jim Nadeau, Nadeau Land Surveys
  • Bill Needleman, City of Portland
  • Gayle Bowness, Gulf of Maine Research Institute
  • Garrett Corbin, Maine Municipal Association
  • Andy Dorr, Vinalhaven
  • Bob Faunce, Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission
  • Adrianne Harrison, NOAA
  • Judy Gates, Maine Department of Transportation
  • Jeremy Bell, The Nature Conservancy
  • Cheryl Coviello, Collins Engineering
  • David Edson, James W. Sewall Co.
  • Jonathan Edgerton, Wright Pierce
  • Nate Dill, Ransom Environmental
  • Noah Slovin, Milone and MacBroom, Inc.
  • Sam Merrill, GEI Consultants
  • Kathleen Leyden, Maine Coastal Program


A copy of the symposium agenda is available here.


To view copies of the available presentations from the symposium, click on the individual presenter name and topic below:

Coastal Hazards 101

Communicating Vulnerability

Lunch Presentation

Case Studies - Climate Adaptation Planning

Adaptation Options

Consulting Company Lightning Round

Symposium Video

Video of each of the symposium sessions is available by clicking the respective links below:

More information

For more information and ongoing exchanges on the topic of coastal community adaptation to sea level rise and costal hazards, join the ShoreUp Maine Google Group.