Mount Desert Islander cites UMaine, Maine Sea Grant in editorial on rising sea levels

Information from the University of Maine and Maine Sea Grant was included in a Mount Desert Islander editorial on rising sea levels and climate change. Tide-gauge records in Portland showed a sea-level rise of 0.07 inches per year between 1912 and 2008. Mean sea level in Bar Harbor was up 0.12 inches per year between 1992 and 2014, according to NOAA. UMaine and Maine Sea Grant attribute the rise to a volumetric increase of the ocean as glaciers and land-based ice sheets melt, thermal expansion as the atmosphere and ocean warm, and slight regional sinking of the land along the coast, the article states. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s Sand Dune Rules anticipate a two-foot rise in sea level by the year 2100. The rules prohibit the construction of new, “hard” structures such as seawalls and bulkheads to prevent erosion, Mount Desert islander reported. “Today, managers recommend ‘soft’ engineering structures that protect shorefront property without worsening erosion elsewhere,” according to a fact sheet produced as a supplement to Maine’s Climate Future, which was published by UMaine.