Letter: Trying to grasp threats to Westport's barrier beaches

Posted 8/23/20

To the editor:

The Westport Planning Board has established a committee which I chair to look at the vulnerability of the East Beach Corridor to increasing flooding and beach erosion. The Corridor …

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Letter: Trying to grasp threats to Westport's barrier beaches

Posted

To the editor:

The Westport Planning Board has established a committee which I chair to look at the vulnerability of the East Beach Corridor to increasing flooding and beach erosion. The Corridor area includes the land on East Beach Road as well as the neighborhood around Cherry & Webb Lane.

Climate change brings with it sea level rise and increased severity of storms and that combination can lead to flooding, beach erosion, loss of wetlands, salt water intrusion into fresh water wells, more power outages, a breaching of the Let, loss of sand from our beaches, changes in fish populations and many other changes to our natural and built environment.  This can impact our ability to access our properties, insure our properties, maintenance costs, property values and potentially the ability to live or work in this part of Westport.

The Town of Westport contracted with the Woods Hole Group and Kleinfelder to complete a climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning project. This assessment will provide the Town with probabilistic projections for the present day, 2030 and 2070 for overwash, breach, nuisance flooding, inundation and scour for East Beach and the attendant infrastructure within the Corridor.

You can see an overview of the project at https://bit.ly/eastbeachwebinar

Once you look at the overview we would like you to take a short survey which you can find at (the link is case sensitive) https://bit.ly/EastBeachCorridor

Whether you live in this area, or enjoy a meal at the Back Eddy, or spend time at Horseneck or Cherry and Webb Beach or keep a boat at Tripp’s Boatyard, understanding the changes that might take place on these barrier beaches is worth knowing.  And the ability to plan for any infrastructure improvements well in advance is critical for the Town as we juggle demands on finances that are already under great strain.

Please look at the work we have done so far and complete the survey. We really need to know what you are thinking about this.

John Bullard
Westport

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