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Island Institute Holds Forum On Protecting Maine Coast From Effects Of Climate Change

Scientists, municipal and state officials, consultants and concerned citizens gathered in Portland Tuesday to consider ways to protect against rising sea-levels and intense storms.

Sponsored by the Rockland-based Island Institute, the daylong forum highlighted work up and down the coast documenting the dangers sea-level rise and other climate-change-driven events pose for vulnerable ecosystems and infrastructure. The 60-plus attendees discussed strategies and standards that would foster coastal resilience, and how to finance solutions.

State Rep. Lydia Blume of York says the event demonstrates the need for the state to establish a commission to study risks and hazards on the coast and to make policy recommendations.

“As you can see there’s so much great people in Maine, so much great information, but it’s all disparate and it needs to be coordinated or aggregated, and that’s the kind of thing I can see this commission doing,” she says.

New Hampshire, with only 12 miles of coastline, already has such a commission up and running. Maine’s Legislature will consider Blume’s proposal this winter.

This story was originally published Nov. 28, 2017 at 5:22 p.m. ET.

A Columbia University graduate, Fred began his journalism career as a print reporter in Vermont, then came to Maine Public in 2001 as its political reporter, as well as serving as a host for a variety of Maine Public Radio and Maine Public Television programs. Fred later went on to become news director for New England Public Radio in Western Massachusetts and worked as a freelancer for National Public Radio and a number of regional public radio stations, including WBUR in Boston and NHPR in New Hampshire.