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Review of Beach Responses
This portion of the report will progress in a north-to-south format, starting with the northernmost monitored beach, Willard Beach in South Portland, and ending with Long Sands Beach, in York. No discussions of overall beach conditions and characteristics will be made, as this was completed in the initial Beaches report from 2007.
First, we will review profile changes using the immediate post-2007 Patriots' Day Storm (either from April, May, or June 2007, as data is available) with profile shapes from subsequent years from roughly the same months, through April or May 2011. This will allow us to build upon the review we completed for the 2009 report, which detailed profile recovery through April or May 2009. Review of the "winter" beach profile shapes will allow us to detail whether or not the beaches have continued to recover (or erode, or switch their recovery) from the Patriots' Day Storm event, which is considered in many locations to have created the most erosive beach profile shape over the past 4 years.
We will also review profile changes and recovery from 2007 through 2010 for the "summer beach" profile shapes at each profiling location. This will include, as data is available, profile data from August or September of each year from 2007 through 2010; unfortunately, we will be unable to include 2011 summer beach data since it has not been collected yet. It is generally not sound to compare May or June profiles with August or September profiles, since Maine beaches are typically still recovering from the winter in May and June, and fully developed by August or September. However, in specific cases such as at Ferry Beach in Saco, we decided to include analysis of profile data collected in June 2011. This was included because (a) beach profile starting pins were relocated in spring 2010, and (b) additional profile data was needed to investigate how the dune restoration project completed in that area in spring 2009 has been fairing.
As part of this review, consistent with the 2009 assessment, we assigned a "grade," based on the amount of stability or recovery (or lack thereof) exhibited by each profile for both summer and winter beach profile shapes. Then, for each beach, an averaged grade for the "winter" beach changes (2007 to 2011) and the "summer" beach changes (2007 to 2010) were created. Finally, an overall beach grade was assigned, as an average of all the summer and winter profile scores. Note that this grading system is qualitative, and described in Table 3.
Note that in this ranking system, we consider a score of an A or B to indicate excellent or very good recovery or growth, a C to be considered a cautionary with erosion present, and a D or F to be very cautionary or failing scores, signifying extensive ongoing erosion.
Last updated on July 14, 2011
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