Cape Cod Environmental Groups Launch Coastal Resiliency Effort

BARNSTABLE – An effort to examine the resiliency of Cape Cod’s coastline is officially underway.

Several Cape-based environmental groups held the first meetings of the “Resilient Cape Cod” project this past week.

The goal of the stakeholder forums was to engage members of the public in the process of understanding the vulnerability the region faces and gauge the ability of Cape Codders to take action.

“As a sandbar in the northeast we are uniquely and especially vulnerable as a region to the already observed effects and very likely effects of additional climate change,” said Andrew Gottlieb, the Executive Director of the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, one of the organizations spearheading the effort.

Meetings were held last week across Cape Cod, with each meeting focusing on a different region. Data was presented on recent coastal studies on Cape Cod Bay, Buzzards Bay, Nantucket Sound, and the Outer Cape.  

The focus of the meetings were on understanding the vulnerability each region may face.

“Some of the natural systems we have, the beach systems, the marsh systems, in their natural and restored states provide enormous front-line protection from the impacts of rising sea level and increased storm frequency and intensity,” Gottlieb said.

The next round of meetings in January will focus on adaptation strategies. The final sessions, scheduled for February, will look at what actions can be taken.

Members of the public are welcome to attend.

“I think what we’re hoping to have is a series of both projects whose implementation can provide increased resiliency along the coastline as well as a series of steps and measures that towns and individuals can take to put their community in a position to be less at risk,” Gottlieb said.

The Association to Preserve Cape Cod is joined by the Cape Cod Commission, the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, NOAA, and the Town of Barnstable in the effort. 

The schedule for the next round of meetings is below:

Meeting Two: Adaption Strategies and Community Values.

Buzzards Bay – Pocasset Community Center: January 10 2-5 p.m.

Cape Cod Bay – Cape and Islands Association of Realtors: January 11 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Nantucket Sound – Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce Headquarters: January 11 2-5 p.m.

Outer Cape – Wellfleet Library: January 12 2-5 p.m.

Meeting Three: Action.

Cape Cod Bay – Cape and Islands Association of Realtors: February 6 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Nantucket Sound – Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce Headquarters: February 6 2-5 p.m.

Buzzards Bay – Pocasset Community Center: February 7 2-5 p.m.

Outer Cape – Wellfleet Library: February 9 2-5 p.m.

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