Living Shorelines Decision Support Tool

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Data Description and Usage

This viewer provides generalized information regarding the potential suitability of living shoreline approaches for sections of shoreline along the Maine coast. The viewer extends from Two Lights State Park in Cape Elizabeth to Small Point in Phippsburg, and includes the following communities: Cape Elizabeth, South Portland, Portland, Chebeague Island, Long Island, Falmouth, Cumberland, Yarmouth, Freeport, Brunswick, West Bath, Bath, Harpswell, and Phippsburg. In 2021, it was expanded to include coast lines from South Bristol to Frenchman Bay. The viewer shows the potential suitability of the shoreline for living shoreline approaches, based on a variety of factors, including annualized fetch, nearshore bathymetry, landward shoreline type, seaward shoreline type, aspect, relief, and slope. The viewer includes color-coded points, which range in color from red to yellow to green and indicate the suitability (from probably not suitable, such as a highly exposed to waves rocky shoreline to highly suitable, such as a low-energy coastal bluff or wetland) of that section of shoreline. Each factor that is accounted for is discussed in What data is visualized in this viewer?. Note that this information should be used for general guidance purposes only; sections of shoreline that have a low suitability based on this viewer could still be engineered in a way where green infrastructure approaches could be used effectively. Decisions to undertake green infrastructure approaches should be made in conjunction with qualified professionals.

Data Disclaimer

These data are meant to help inform decisions at the local, regional, and state-level. Users must assume responsibility in determining the usability of this data for their purposes. Metadata is included for all of the downloadable layers and should be reviewed for more specifics on how these data were created. Neither the Maine Geological Survey nor the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, nor its employees or agents: (1) make any warranty, either expressed or implied for merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, as to the accuracy or reliability of the information shown on the map; nor are they (2) liable for any damages, including consequential damages, from using the map or the inability to use the map.

Frequently Asked Questions

The frequently asked questions provide more information about how the data layers were created, what they should be used for, usage limitations and general information on living shorelines in Maine.

Data Download

The living shoreline decision support tool layers can be downloaded as shapefiles for use in any GIS software to perform further spatial analysis.

More Help

Contact the Maine Geological Survey with questions at: mgs@maine.gov