By Jennifer Mitchell
MPBN news story
A public hearing on a bill that prompts municipalities to plan for the effects of rising sea levels is set for Monday.
LD 408, sponsored by Representative Lydia Blume of York, and co-sponsored by a list of others, mostly from coastal towns, would require coastal communities to consider the rising ocean level in their growth management plans.
“It doesn’t really specify, you know, what they should do with the information or where they should get the information, but certainly we should take sea level rise into account.” says Dylan Voorhees from the Natural Resources Council of Maine. His group plans to testify in support of the proposal.
Voorhees says Blume’s bill is timely, in light of study results published last week that show the sea level in the Gulf of Maine rose a five inches over a two year period, a figure he says took him by surprise. “We generally think of sea level rise as a slow, incremental process. I think this is a wake up call that things can happen in much larger swings.”
A report released last fall by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that the city of Portland, which currently experiences about 12 tidal flooding episodes each year; is predicted to experience flooding at a rate of 60 per year, or five per month, in the next three decades.
A public hearing on the bill is set for 1 PM.