Maine is known for its rockbound coast and pristine shoreline. Yet there is more to this shore than rocky cliffs. This book describes the origin of the more common "soft coast" of eroding bluffs, sand beaches, and salt marshes. A central theme is the formation of the present shoreline during the current ongoing rise in sea level and the ways in which coastal residents can best cope with the changes to come. Although it is not widely known, Maine is experiencing a rapid, uneven drowning of its shore at the same time that coastal development is at an all-time high. The authors explain how the shoreline is changing and provide a series of highly detailed maps that show the relative safety of particular locations on the coast.
Specific guidelines for recognizing various safe and unsafe coastal settings are presented, as are recommendations for sound construction techniques in hazardous coastal areas. Photographs and drawings illustrate the danger of living too near the shoreline, and an up-to-date review of Maine's regulations governing coastal construction is simply and readably described. A bibliography of important coastal literature is also included, as well as a guide to federal, state, and local sources of information.
List of figures and tables vii
Author's preface xii
Editor's preface xv
1. A coastal perspective 1
2. Maine's changing coastline 15
3. Man and the shoreline 37
4. Selecting a site on the Maine coast 51
5. Coastal land use and the law in Maine 105
6. Building or buying a house near the beach 115
Appendix A. Storm checklist 141
Appendix B. A guide to federal, state, and local agencies involved in coastal development 146
Appendix C. Useful references 154