StormSmart Coasts and Climate Ready Information for Buzzards Bay
BBNEP and MCZM StormSmart Coasts InformationPrivate and public development and redevelopment continue to expand in the flood prone areas of coastal communities. Simultaneously, due to the impacts of climate change, the frequency and intensity of coastal storms is projected to increase over the coming years. When combined, these two factors portend a significant increase in the potential harmful impacts to people and property in coastal communities. With this in mind the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) has developed a suite of ideas, strategies, and case studies to help communities improve efforts to manage coastal floodplains within their town. This information can be found on MCZM's StormSmart Coasts website. The site was created to support local efforts to improve the management of coastal floodplains in Massachusetts.
MCZM also periodically offers workshops to municipal officials including staff and members of Planning Boards, Conservation Commissions, Zoning Board of Appeals, Department of Public Works, Building & Engineering Departments, Boards of Health, and emergency management planners. The next StormSmart Coasts Workshop will be held on February 17, 2010 in New Bedford.
The 2008 changes to MA building Code for Flood Resistant ConstructionThe Massachusetts Basic Building Code 780 CMR 120.G, Appendix G, Code for Flood Resistant Construction in Coastal Dunes and Flood Hazard Zones, was revised and became effective January 8, 2008. In the summer of 2008, the Mass DEP Circuit Rider Program presented free educational workshops for Conservation Commission members, staff, Building Inspectors, and other municipal officials. Here is a DEP prepared brochure on the workshop and changes.
Build with FreeboardFreeboard is the height above the minimum required floodplain elevation height at which a structure is built. In other words, when you build a new home in the flood zone, you might have to raise it a few feet above ground level to be above the 100-year flood plain. If you choose to go even higher as a safety precaution, you have just added "freeboard." There are dramatic financial benefits to constructing homes with freeboard as illustrated by the diagrams below. More information about freeboard, and a more detailed explanation of these graphics is available at the MCZM StormSmart Coasts website.
Hazard Mitigation PlansMunicipal Hazard Mitigation Plans, make towns eligible for certain pre-disaster mitigation grants. These plans, together with the adoption of the FEMA Community Rating System (CRS) program, can reduce insurance premium costs of residents in the flood plain. In 2007, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts adopted a statewide FEMA approved Hazard Mitigation Plan. This plan recognized the importance of the local government in defining patterns of development and redevelopment, and placed an increased emphasis on the creation of local mitigation plans. Since then, the state provided increased funding and technical assitance to regional planning agencies and municipalities to create these local plans. As of 2009, however, only 25% of the communities in Massachusetts had a local Hazard Mitigation Plan, and by 2011, many of these had expired. These issues are discussed new Buzzards Bay CCMP's Shifting Shorelines Action Plan.
|LOSS STATISTICS MASSACHUSETTS since 1978 AS OF 02/28/2009||NFIP Policy Statistics for Massachusetts as of January 31, 2009.|
|COMMUNITY NAME||TOTAL LOSSES||Paid losses||unpaid losses||TOTAL PAYMENTS||$ per claim||No. of Policies||Total Insur. cover.||Annual Premiums Paid||Hazard Mitigation|
|GOSNOLD||1||1||0||$2,215||$2,215||7||$2,055,700||$7,895||to exp 5/13/13||no|
|NEW BEDFORD||51||27||24||$635,184||$23,525||224||$65,282,400||$325,253||exp 1/28/10||no|
|PLYMOUTH||348||254||94||$4,127,976||$16,252||445||$100,790,800||$429,518||to exp 8/23/11||no|
FEMA Hazard Mitigation Overview
FEMA Hazard Mitigation Plan Guidance
FEMA Hazard Mitigation Plan Additional Guidance
FEMA Guidance for Municipal Hazard Mitigation Planning
FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
FEMA Hazard Mitigation Plan Status List
FEMA NFIP statistics website
EPA Climate Ready Estuaries InitiativeEPA's Office of Oceans, Wetlands and Watersheds has launched an initiative to assist National Estuary Programs adapt and prepare for the effects of climate change. This Climate Ready Estuaries Initiative NEP's will assess the vulnerabilities of coastal resources and infrastructure, review local governance, prepare adaptation plans, and increase local awareness of the problems and potential solutions. The Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program is adopting many of these strategies in our updated Management Plan for Buzzards Bay. In our original Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for Buzzards Bay, the BBNEP was far ahead of its time in recognizing the impacts of sea level rise and global warming. We are now updating our 1991 Planning For A Shifting Shoreline Action Plan with new data and information that will help Buzzards Bay municipalities plan for a shifting shoreline in the 21st century.
Links for Buzzards Bay data and reports2006 Hurricane Evacuation Route Evaluation for Southeastern Massachusetts
2004 Natural Hazard Pre-Disaster Regional Mitigation Plan for SE Mass
1997 ACOE Southern Massachusetts Hurricane Evacuation Study
ACOE Massachusetts Hurricane Evacuation Inundation Maps (1990s)