BELFAST — US Harbors is participating in a pilot program for long-term monitoring of sea levels in Maine’s coastal areas.
“We wanted to find out if there was a solution that small communities could implement and afford in their municipal budgets,” said Anastasia Fischer, president of US Harbors.
The weather company is based in Rockland. It provides tide and weather data to 1,400 harbors across the country.
Fischer said there are some issues with observational tide data.
“Users are reaching out to us to say, ‘Hey why is it flooding right now when the tide chart shows it shouldn’t be flooding?'” said Fischer.
Belfast is one of five coastal communities taking part in this six-month program. They’ll have access to local tidal data and flood alert services.
“As sea level continues to rise during the next 20 or 30 years, we can have a much better picture locally as to what the effects of those things are on our shoreline,” said Jon Beal, chair of the Belfast Climate Crisis Committee.
Fischer said small communities in Maine can’t tell how their communities are being impacted by the sea level rise.
She added the data will be used for planning, risk mitigation and grant funding.
The project runs from October to March in partnership with data and technology company, Divirod.
Fischer said the technology is free from Divirod for the duration of the project.
“What we want to be doing is to be making actual measurements of what actually happens so we can get a better picture of what the future will bring,” Beal said.