Manchester-By-The-Sea

Project Highlights

  • Coastal Resilience Planning
  • Stormwater Infrastructure Improvements
  • Flood Reduction
  • GIS Analysis & Data Development
  • Grant Funding Implementation
  • Design Innovation
  • Public Outreach

A Commitment to Coastal Resiliency

Manchester-by-the-Sea is a town on Cape Ann in Essex County, Massachusetts that has proactively taken aim at resiliency planning for its future.

Flooding Challenges

Historically, this community experiences frequent flooding inland and along the coast. More than 75% of the town’s critical assets (including water and sewer treatment facilities, and emergency service buildings) are vulnerable to flooding due to location and elevation. Impacts include property and infrastructure damage, as well as water quality and fisheries habitat degradation. It is expected that flooding and water quality problems will be magnified in coming years due to the impacts of climate change.

Funding and Creative Solutions

Manchester-By-The-Sea was awarded a Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Coastal Resiliency Grant to improve its understanding of existing and future flooding in the Sawmill Brook Watershed. The grant evaluated the vulnerability of culverts, and their required capacity under climate change. Opportunities for flood reduction including flood storage, and culvert improvements A green stormwater infrastructure was identified throughout the watershed to mitigate current and potential future flooding, while simultaneously providing water quality and habitat benefits.

Our work includes watershed modeling coupled with climate change coastal modeling. Based on the modeling, solutions were identified throughout the watershed that will ultimately reduce downtown flooding.