The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) developed the StormSmart Coasts program to:
- Assist communities and people working and living on the coast by providing information, strategies, and tools to help address challenges arising from erosion, flooding, storms, sea level rise, and other climate change impacts.
- Promote effective management of coastal landforms, such as beaches and dunes.
Major StormSmart Coasts initiatives include:
- Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience Pilot Grant Program - These grants, which are administered by CZM, provide municipalities and certain nonprofits with financial and technical resources to advance the understanding and implementation of natural approaches to mitigating coastal erosion and flooding problems. Funding will support the planning, feasibility assessment, design, permitting, construction, and monitoring/evaluation of pilot green infrastructure projects that implement natural or living shoreline approaches.
- Coastal Community Resilience Grant Program - These grants, which are administered by CZM, provide municipalities with financial and technical resources to advance new and innovative local efforts to increase awareness of climate impacts, identify vulnerabilities, and implement measures to increase community resilience (i.e., the ability to endure impacts associated with coastal storms and the effects of erosion, flooding, and sea level rise and to respond, recover, and adapt to consequences).
- Assessing Vulnerability of Coastal Properties - Resources to identify areas of the Massachusetts coast most vulnerable to erosion and flooding, including shoreline change data, Flood Insurance Rate Maps, hurricane surge inundation maps, and maps depicting coastal inundation with sea level rise.
- StormSmart Communities - Tools for local officials to improve erosion and floodplain management along the coast, including information on the No Adverse Impact approach to coastal land management (which is based on a set of "do no harm" principles that communities can use when planning, designing, and evaluating public and private projects), local pilot projects that implement StormSmart tools and strategies, and technical assistance on topics ranging from flood mapping to safe siting of community infrastructure.
- StormSmart Properties - Strategies for property owners to reduce coastal erosion and storm damage while minimizing impacts to the shoreline and neighboring properties.
- Coastal Landscaping - Landscaping options for controlling erosion and preventing storm damage.
- Shoreline Change Project - Documented erosion and accretion along the Massachusetts coast, complete with an interactive map showing how the shoreline of Massachusetts has shifted between the mid-1800s and 2009.
- South Shore Coastal Hazards Characterization Atlas - Technical information on erosion and other coastal hazards impacting communities from Hull to the Cape Cod Canal.
- Barrier Beach Management - An inventory of the state’s barrier beaches and guidelines for beach managers.
- Inventories of Seawalls and Other Coastal Structures - Reports prepared for CZM and the Department of Conservation and Recreation from 2006 to 2013 that provide an inventory of locations for seawalls, revetments, groins, jetties, and other coastal structures, as well as condition ratings and estimated repair or reconstruction costs for the publically owned structures.
- The Massachusetts Coastal Hazards Commission - A comprehensive report and recommendations developed from 2006-2007 by the Commission, which was staffed by CZM and charged with reviewing existing coastal hazards practices and policies and drafting recommendations to improve coastal hazards management coastwide; the report served as a foundation for the StormSmart Coasts program.
- Publications - "How to" fact sheets, guidance documents, and other StormSmart materials published by CZM and partners for local officials and homeowners.
The successful launch of the Massachusetts StormSmart Coasts initiative in 2008 led to the development of a national network in 2009. A growing partnership of coastal decision makers supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Services Center, Northeast Regional Ocean Council, Gulf of Mexico Alliance, and others represents the StormSmart Coasts Network. The StormSmart Coasts National Network website provides local decision makers with information on erosion, flooding, storms, and sea level rise and helps them connect and collaborate.