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Coastal Processes Along Plum Island
May 24, 2017 @ 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Over the years, many opinions have emerged about where the sand flows along Plum Island, why it does this, and how it relates to episodes of erosion there. Effective coastal management policy relies on what’s actually happening along the shore, rather than on conjecture. To shed light on this, and lay some misconceptions to rest, Matthew Shultz of the Woods Hole Group will present the results of a recently completed regional assessment study of coastal processes along Plum Island. The Woods Hole Group carried out the study in collaboration with Boston University, on behalf of the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission. The project was funded through the National Fish and Wildlife Federation‘s Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grant Program as part of a larger Community Risk Reduction study.
The project team analyzed existing conditions and developed wave and sediment transport models that illustrate alongshore currents and sand movement driven by breaking waves in the surf zone. The study also identified patterns of erosion and accretion indicating variations in that sand movement.
It is hoped that the results of this study will inform and guide coastal management efforts aimed at reducing erosion impacts along the island.