Marblehead Harbor Vulnerability Assessment

In 2020, the Town of Marblehead launched a three-part project funded by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management to identify the major impacts of climate change on municipal structures along Marblehead Harbor and develop strategies to improve their resiliency. The project consisted of the following:

Waterfront Structures Assessment – The Woods Hole Group was contracted to perform an assessment of the municipal waterfront structures along Marblehead Harbor. A total of 24 structures of varying construction at 18 different locations around the harbor were included in the evaluation. Available records were reviewed to provide a historical record of previous permitting and past evaluations of the structures. The goal of these updated evaluations was to provide a current assessment of the general condition of the structures and potential changes that could be considered to improve their resiliency to projected climate change impacts. Click here for the full report.

Detailed Coastal Flood Modeling and Mapping – Kirk Bosma, Senior Coastal Engineer and Innovation Director at the Woods Hole Group, mapped out what selected portions of the town’s waterfront might look like in 2030, 2050 and 2070 compared to present-day conditions to nearly 300 people at the Marblehead High School Theater. A video of the presentation can be viewed here.

Future of Marblehead Harbor: Climate Adaptation Themes and Concepts – Kirk Bosma returned to present conceptual adaptive strategies in response to increasing sea level and storm surge for the following at-risk areas:

  • Front Street, Fort Beach, and Little Harbor

  • State Street Landing and Harbormaster Dock

  • Marblehead Municipal Light Department

  • Devereux Beach, Goldthwait Reservation, Ocean Avenue, and the Causeway

Click here to view the video