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Marshfield’s strategic geographical location - along the Eastern Seaboard and exposed to the North Atlantic just beyond Cape Cod Bay - renders it susceptible to a diverse range of coastal storms.

Why Marshfield?

Marshfield’s strategic geographical location – along the Eastern Seaboard and exposed to the North Atlantic just beyond Cape Cod Bay – renders it susceptible to a diverse range of coastal storms. Marshfield often finds itself in the path of Nor’easters, tropical cyclones, and winter storms, which frequently track along the Eastern Seaboard. These unique storm tracks make Marshfield an ideal location for studying the movement, intensification, and impact of coastal storms.

According to FEMA’s National Risk Index, Plymouth County, which includes Marshfield, experiences 7+ coastal flood events/year, 4+ winter weather events/year including Nor’easters, and is at “relatively high risk” for strong wind and hurricane events; expected annual property losses from coastal hazard for Plymouth County $40m+.

Located just 20 miles southeast of Boston, Marshfield’s proximity to the city’s storied academic institutions enables world-class collaboration. In particular, ARII partner Northeastern University maintains its administration and main campus in Boston.

Marshfield is an analog for 100’s of other coastal communities across the northeast and broader North Atlantic basin; lessons learned here can be shared and benefit resiliency efforts from Nova Scotia to Galveston, TX.

Extensive Established Sensor Network

The Town of Marshfield maintains an extensive network of 30+ stationary and gimbaled cameras for coastal safety along its 5 miles of coastline. This array provides a range of imagery and sensor options including 4k visible to thermal data. These sensors are available for integration and use by ARII researchers.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) manages a dense network of buoys strategically positioned off the coast of Eastern MA and provides real-time data on ocean conditions. The network allows researchers to monitor and analyze crucial parameters, including sea surface temperature, wave heights, and storm surge.

The community of Marshfield has taken a proactive approach to addressing our coastal hazard problems and is eager to address its coastal challenges. Recent examples of this include:

  • A successful 2015 FEMA Flood Re-Mapping initiative implementing a data-driven appeal to outline deficiencies in the FEMA flood model.
  • Establishment of a Town of Marshfield FEMA Community Rating System – Plan for Public Information Committee which improved the Town’s CRS rating to Class 7 from Class 9; setting Marshfield apart as the highest-scoring community in New England from 2020-to-date.

 

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