New Study on Potential Effects of Sea Level Rise on Pleasant Bay Released

Mark Borrelli with the Center for Coastal Studies speaks at the Chatham Town Hall Annex.

CHATHAM –A new study prepared by the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, was presented to the public and discussed at an event in Chatham on Thursday night.

The report estimates the range of sea level rise that is likely to affect the Pleasant Bay system.

It also identifies potential changes to the Nauset Barrier Beach and intertidal zone of Pleasant Bay resulting from estimated sea level rise.

Researchers say that sea level around Pleasant Bay has risen at a rate of one foot every 100 years, and future projections forecast a further increase in that rate.

“This information gives us a good head start to plan ahead for that eventuality and make sure we preserve our public access, we preserve public and private property and we also preserve the functioning integrity of coastal resources,” said Pleasant Bay Alliance Coordinator Carol Ridley.

The Alliance hosted the event, which featured a presentation from Mark Borelli with the Center.

Information from the study is expected to provide a foundation for developing management strategies to address impacts associated with sea level rise.

Ridley is hoping that communities across the Cape will see what they’re doing and want to help their areas.

“We’re all dealing with the same issues, regardless of whether if it’s Upper Cape, Mid-Cape, Outer Cape, so we’re hopeful that others will learn from what we’re learning here in Pleasant Bay and be able to apply that information to deal with the issues that they’re facing in their estuaries,” said Ridley.

The report is also available online at


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