Bayside Adapts Initiative - Portland, Maine

The City of Portland, Maine created the Bayside Adapts initiative to work with community members and organizations to adapt the Bayside neighborhood of downtown Portland to climate change impacts. The initiative includes two completed projects - the Bayside Adapts Design Challenge and the Sewer and Stormwater System Data Gap Analysis - which address the impacts of sea level rise, storm surges, and increased intense rainfall events in Bayside.

Funded by the National League of Cities, the Bayside Adapts Design Challenge was a competition made open to the public, seeking creative adaptations to sea level rise. Five local teams submitted design ideas for a future climate-ready Bayside neighborhood. All of the designs help inform Phase I of the Bayside Adapts initiative, which is aimed at understanding the neighborhood’s existing infrastructure and developing guidance for adaptation work.

The Sewer and Stormwater System Data Gap Analysis report is part of Phase I of the initiative. The report identifies information the City needs to prepare for increased flood risk in the low-lying neighborhood of Bayside due to sea level rise, intense precipitation, extreme tides, and storm surges. The report updates regional sea level rise projections into the City’s preferred vertical mapping datum (NGVD29), and recommends that Portland commit to managing 1.9 ft of sea level rise in the Bayside neighborhood, but be prepared to manage an extreme mean of 3.8 ft by 2050. By 2100, the recommendation is to commit to managing 4.3 ft of rise, but be prepared to manage the high mean of 9.2 ft. The planning assessment, data gap analysis, and recommendations detailed in this report can inform the City in developing and implementing a climate change adaptation plan. 

Publication Date: 2017

Related Organizations:

  • City of Portland, Maine

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  • Assessment
  • Case study

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