Falmouth Selectmen Receive Update from Coastal Resiliency Action Committee

FALMOUTH – Selectmen in Falmouth recently received an update from the Coastal Resiliency Action Committee about its study into coastal vulnerability.

The committee is studying the effects of rising sea levels and significant storms will have on town resources, including beaches, wetlands, and public and private infrastructure.

“In looking at implementation, particular in projects, what is the timeframe?” said Charles McCaffrey, the committee’s chairman. “We’ve got major problems at the end of the century and we have near-term problems and changing problems throughout the next 80 years.”

McCaffrey said the town needs to begin looking at projects for issues that may be much further down the road.

“For example, if areas are going to be inundated that are now developed and no longer habitable, that’s going to be a long lead time to develop programs and ways of addressing that issue,” McCaffrey said.

The committee will make recommendations for the near-term, or next two decades, the mid-century and end of the century.

McCaffrey said it is going to be important for the town to help protect both municipal resources and private property and infrastructure.

“There are ways in which we might be able to identify mechanisms and approaches that can help private development facilitate its protection in ways that don’t harm public resources,” he said.

McCaffrey said the rise in sea level will change and affect beaches, wetlands and groundwater, which can cause septic system issues.

The committee also believes post storm plans need to be developed so the town does not get caught by surprise.

“The instinct as it has often been is let’s put things back rather than change the way they are so they are less vulnerable in the future,” McCaffrey said.

Recommendations presented to the town by the committee will be site specific for two-dozen locations.

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