The Atlantic Resiliency Innovation Institute (ARII) is the parent organization and home for The Marshfield Coastal Hazard Lab (MCHL) & Marshfield Coastal Academy (MCA). Through our workforce development programs and our federally funded research lab, we are building a science-based community to bring to market the next generation of coastal hazard mitigation solutions. ARII was established through a collaboration of the Marshfield Chamber of Commerce, Northeastern University, the Town of Marshfield, and the Marshfield Public School District.

What is the immediate need that this is addressing?

Better understanding our region’s coastal hazard risk and developing mitigation policies and solutions is critical. The estimated costs to protect the coastline of New England could easily approach $100B+, with Boston and New York City making up about 1/3 of the cost. Hurricane Sandy’s 2012 recovery was ~$50B. Marshfield regularly endures flooding and seawall splash-overs; these events are no longer isolated to frequent Nor’easter storms but now are commonplace during astronomical high tides. 

The costs to the Town have risen to more than $1m+ annually for seawall repairs, modifications, beach erosion control, jetty repairs, and DPW bills – these costs do not include the impacts on businesses and homeowners nor do they fund future solutions. The region needs a lab to provide a scientific basis for decision-making to make coastal communities more resilient.

How many communities will the research potentially benefit?

Coastal hazard mitigation solutions will improve resiliency locally (Marshfield, South Shore, and Eastern-MA). Lessons learned can be applied regionally across the Northeastern US and beyond.

  • The only federally funded dedicated coastal hazard lab is U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory’s Field Research Facility (FRF) based in the Outer Banks of NC.
  • FRF has different tidal action, tidal range, seafloor topography, and sea-floor composition (rock vs. sand) than the Northeast.

Workforce, economic development, and K-12 curriculum enhancement will boost the economy of Southeastern MA and provide the region’s residents with critical academic and training opportunities.

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