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Committee launches coastal flooding project Monday

Sep 14, 2020
Belfast Bay shoreline.

Belfast — Belfast's Climate Crisis Committee will launch a citizen science project to collect data on coastal flooding events in Belfast Bay Monday, Sept. 21.

The launch of “Belfast Coastal Flooding: Storms and Sea Level Rise” will be live streamed from the Belfast Free Library at 6 p.m. The live stream will be on the library’s YouTube channel. The following day, Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 3:30 p.m., there will be an in-person meet-up and demonstration at the Belfast Harbor parking lot.

This citizen science project invites people to participate by going to one of six designated sites around the Belfast Bay and take photographs of high water events which can then be uploaded to the project page on Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s Ecosystem Investigation Network (investigate.gmri.org/project/coastal_flooding/). The data will be used by city planners and meteorologists at the National Weather Service to help predict high water events and document coastal flooding.

This is the beginning of a long-term project to monitor the effects of climate change, including sea level rise. The design team members have already installed a weather station on the city pier, and are in the process of installing a tide gauge. By documenting weather and water levels, correlated with observed flooding and NWS predictions, the people of Belfast will gain insight into the effects of expected sea level rise on the city’s shoreline and infrastructure.

The launch event will include presentations by Gulf of Maine Research Institute experts describing science behind sea level rise, and the processes of citizen science, and members of the project team, including Belfast Area High School students who will describe some of the equipment and methods that will be used. A demonstration on how to navigate the website will also occur at the launch.

The “Belfast Coastal Flooding: Storms and Sea Level Rise” project has been developed through a collaboration between the city's Climate Crisis Committee, the National Weather Service, and the Belfast Free Library, and is supported through a grant and assistance of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.

Belfast Free Library is also developing a program, “All of Belfast Climate Dialogues” to foster conversations on climate change. Supported by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, ABCD will broaden community awareness of the impacts of climate change, while giving citizens the tools to discuss the issues the local community will face. More information about this will be coming later in 2020.

To access the library’s YouTube live-stream, go to the library’s website on Sept. 21 and find the link on the home page, belfastlibrary.org. For more information, call the library at 338-3884, ext. 10.

 

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