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Peter Phippen Sandy Update - November 2015


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Presentation at the 2015 Great Marsh Coalition Symposium in Essex, MA

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Peter Phippen Sandy Update - November 2015

  1. 1. “Community Risk Reduction through Comprehensive Coastal Resiliency Enhancement for the Great Marsh Ecosystem, Upper North Shore Massachusetts” Project Update Great Marsh Coalition, Sea Level Rise Symposium November 2015 Peter Phippen, Coastal Coordinator Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program The Great Marsh Resiliency Partnership Comprised of stakeholders from the various Great Marsh organizations To address flooding issues and coastal problems in the Great Marsh
  2. 2. Background Hurricane Sandy Relief • The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 - $829M • $100 million in “resiliency” oriented funding • Focused on “reducing communities’ vulnerability to coastal storms, sea level rise, flooding, and erosion through strengthening natural ecosystems that also benefit fish and wildlife” • Administered by NFWF • Four awards in MA Great Marsh Hurricane Sandy Resiliency Proposal: Planning, Modeling, and Restoration of compromised areas of the Great Marsh. • National Wildlife Federation and GMRP Core Partners; PRNWR, MVPC, MBP, MAS, DCR, UNH, BU, CCS, IRWA, WHG • 65 Supporting Partners • Communities • Federal and State Agencies • Academic Institutions • Not-For-Profit Organizations • Federal and State Legislators • Private Partners
  3. 3. Great Marsh and its Coastal Communities NH
  4. 4. Community Resiliency Planning 1. Coastal Community Adaptation Plans Assessment and Modeling 2. Hydrologic barriers assessment & prioritization 3. Hydrodynamic sediment transport & salinity modeling Ecological Restoration and Enhancement 4. Dune nourishment & revegetation 5. Saltmarsh & Sub-aquatic vegetation restoration A. Native Saltmarsh Restoration B. Eelgrass Restoration 6. Student Conservation Association assistance Outcome: 6 projects components that together comprehensively reduce risk to coastal communities and enhance the resiliency and adaptive capacity of the ecological systems those communities depend upon. Goal: Community Risk Reduction through Comprehensive Coastal Resiliency Enhancement
  5. 5. Target Communities Essex, Salisbury, Rowley, Ipswich, Newbury, Newburyport Community Resiliency Planning 1. Develop Community Planning Task Forces 2. Identified target assets 3. Assessing target vulnerabilities (economic component pending) 4. Developing adaptation strategies 5. Categorize & prioritize strategies 6. Initiate strategy implementation The Planning Process:
  6. 6. Community Resiliency Planning Update • Established two municipal task forces (MTF) to represent the six towns (Salisbury, Newbury, Newburyport, Essex, Ipswich and Rowley) • Issues discussed included inland flooding from heavy precipitation and threatened salt marsh species from repeated coastal storms • General community and additional partner outreach PIE River, Great Marsh Coalition
  7. 7. Overall Salisbury has a high level of vulnerability because it has both significant exposure and high sensitivity to climate hazards. Storm surge, riverine flooding of tidal creeks, and acute and long-term erosion pose the biggest threats to this community. High Hazard Concerns Type of Hazard • Salisbury Beach Erosion • Salisbury Beach at Broadway Storm over-wash during storms • Neighborhoods along Blackwater River Flooding during high tides & storms • US Route 1 North at Town Creek Tidally influenced flooding • US Route 1 South; March Road and 1st St. Tidally influenced flooding • US Route 1A (Beach Road) Tidally influenced flooding • Jak-Len Drive Freshwater flooding from storms • Smallpox Brook Freshwater flooding from storms • North End Boulevard Storm-related flooding Community Vulnerability - Salisbury
  8. 8. Critical Infrastructure - Salisbury • Significant critical infrastructure is located in the floodplain: Seven sewage pump stations, the police station and the 911 dispatch center, and a water storage tower are all within the 100-year floodplain. • The police station, eight sewage pump stations, and three water storage/pump sites are also located in areas likely to be inundated by hurricane- level storm surge • Of the sites identified as vulnerable to increased flooding, the Salisbury Resiliency Task Force identified Route 1A, from North End Boulevard west approximately .5 miles to 183 Beach Road, as one of its four highest priorities assets in the community. Because this roadway is the only access point in Massachusetts for traffic entering and leaving Salisbury Beach, it poses a serious evacuation hazard to residents living along the beach. Areas of Special Concern - Non-Infrastructure Salisbury Barrier Beach 3.8 mile long beach from NH Border to Merrimack River Jetty Salisbury Beach at Broadway East of Broadway, stretching 200 ft north and south Coastal Dune South of Broadway Ocean Street to Vermont Street
  9. 9. • Between IRWA and DEP, over 800 crossings have been assessed in the three watershed area. • Crossings are being scored based on how well they meet the MA stream crossing standards for aquatic organism passage. Of the 550 or so that we have scores for: - 9% (52) are "severe" or "significant" barriers - 35% (195) are "moderate barriers" - 39% (214) are "Minor" barriers • Most stream crossing issues relate back to the structures being undersized • Undersized crossings ALSO tend to be problematic for road failure/infrastructure issues. • Road-stream crossings tend to be the biggest problem for small streams and tributaries. These tributaries hold more miles of habitat and are crucial for many early life stages of fish and other aquatic critters • Not just an issue for aquatic organisms, more than 75% of road-kill is found at stream crossings • Crossings that are built to the ecological standards seem to be fairing better during extreme storm events. Green Mountain National Forest had installed a number of crossings before Hurricane Irene and they were unfazed by the event. Hydrological Barrier Assessment
  10. 10. Barriers Assessment Update • Three seasonal staff hired, SCA Researchers engaged • Trout Unlimited have trained eight individuals on the survey field protocols • Over 550 sites surveyed over the summer. Data sent to Trout Unlimited at end of October so they can run hydrologic screening model and prioritize problem crossings • Engaging DPWs to gather existing data and engage them in the prioritization process
  11. 11. Scope: Model Transport and Erosion of Sediment • Barrier Beach Erosion • Channel Infilling • Marsh Deposition for SLR Model Salinity Movement • Invasive species control resulting in Native Plant Restoration Goals: • Identify future sediment and salinity management options Assessment and Modeling Hydrodynamic Sediment Transport and Salinity Modeling
  12. 12. Geographic Targets 1. Barrier Beaches 2. Merrimack Estuary & PI Turnpike Bridge 1. Plum Island Sound 2. Ipswich Bay Partner-driven Modeling Collaborators • Boston University • Virginia Institute of Marine Science • University of New Orleans • Woods Hole Group Supporters • USGS, USACE, USFWS Assessment and Modeling Hydrodynamic Sediment and Salinity Modeling Modeling Update 1. Testing various resolutions to create a grid 2. Gathered available topographic and bathymetric data 3. WHG Responsible for model development, Boston University data collection 4. USGS Stage gage installed at bridge
  13. 13. Model Data Collection Update • Deployed fifteen instrument platforms throughout PIS and offshore • Current measurements in addition to the temperature, salinity, and water depth data RTK-GPS survey of creeks for bathymetry • 60 Bed sediment samples taken • Collected/sampled fifteen cores for accretion rate data • Water samples and salinity-temperature-depth profiles were collected
  14. 14. Model Effects on Sediment Transport and Deposition with in the Marsh • Source and settling rates of sediments • Sediment loading rates in the system (e.g., concentration of suspended sediments) • Historic sedimentation rates in the marsh (Core sampling) • Site-specific velocity time series predictions at hundreds of thousands of points in the system for a wide range of tide ranges, storm conditions, and sea level rise scenarios • Based on above, the model will provide approximate sedimentation rates at strategic locations within the marsh system
  15. 15. • Salisbury, Newbury & Newburyport • Plant 1000’s native species over 15 acres of dune spanning 6 miles of coast • DCR will renourish 1,800 c.y. of dune in Salisbury Beach State Reservation • Develop a robust outreach and training program for local stakeholders Ecological Restoration and Enhancement Dune Nourishment & Revegetation Outcome: Strategically stabilized dune system as a catalyst for further natural flood protection
  16. 16. Unique, Site Specific Fencing and Plant Palate Combinations, Couple with an Extensive Outreach Campaign
  17. 17. Dune Restoration Outreach and Restoration Update • Developing strong working relationships with coastal communities Salisbury, Newburyport, Newbury • In the Town of Newbury, dune management actions 80 volunteers, 400 hours of planting and fencing • Identify Dune die-off areas and develop strategies to combat the issue • SCA Researcher involvement
  18. 18. • Restoration of over 325 acres of native marsh vegetation through the removal of two dominant non-native invasive plants (perennial pepperweed and Phragmites) • Outcome: A stabilized marsh ecosystem affording natural, local flood protection Pepperweed removal Native Salt Marsh Restoration Ecological Restoration and Enhancement Mapped Phragmites australis
  19. 19. Phragmites Management Techniques Mapping Boat Treatment Marshmaster Treatment Fire Mowing
  20. 20. Results from Previous Years Treatments • Reduction in Stand Size • Re-vegetation with Native Plants
  21. 21. Treated in 2014 - Marshmaster Hurricane Sandy Resiliency Grant Treatment Areas
  22. 22. PI Sound/Essex Bay Mapped Areas Hurricane Sandy Resiliency Grant Treatment Areas
  23. 23. Upper Parker and Mill River Phragmites Permissions Key: Green outline= Yes to Phragmites Treatment. Red Opaque= No Phragmites present. White opaque= no response yet.
  24. 24. Little Pine Island Pine Island Newbury Marsh - Treatment Area Backpack Treatment Marshmaster Treatment Boat Treatment • Approximately 75 stands in the Plumbush Ceek to Pine Island Creek open marsh (down from over 300) • 75% of those are low density stands • Very few high density stands left • Robust native vegetation as replacement
  25. 25. Upper Parker and Mill River Phragmites Stands – Boat and Marshmaster
  26. 26. Outer Phragmites Sites Treated
  27. 27. Great Marsh Perennial Pepperweed Control
  28. 28. Great Marsh Treatment 2015 •30,000 acres have been mapped for pepperweed. •22,000 acres have been found clear of the plant. •8,000 acres are infested with pepperweed or under imminent threat from it. • 1827 sites were treated this year, protecting approximately 215 acres. •84% of all sites mapped were treated. •984 acres were remapped and 44 miles of coastline
  29. 29. 9 31 22 86 129 268 348 523 506 1337 34 36 93 49 105 109 170 239 328 364 4 5 3 10 1 1 0 0 4 5 3 18 30 33 6 15 80 1 6 10 2 16 73 70 48 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Great Marsh Pepperweed Sites treated each year Sprayed Pulled Cut Pull & Spray Clear * Previously treated sites that where not mapped until 2015
  30. 30. Salisbury Islands Details of some of 2015 Pepperweed Treatment Areas Southeast Salisbury Newbury Ipswich
  31. 31. • Permits and Permissions in hand • Treatments for 2015 completed • Some sections of the open marsh require two or even three treatments • We have seen a significant reduction in Phragmites/pepperweed most locations….and emergence of native vegetation • New stands are appearing in low salinity areas….cannot treat the marsh forever • Sandy funding has allowed us to develop a hydrodynamic model to identify salinity influx and concentrations patterns in the marsh • Model recommendations will help us identify solutions to allowing more saltwater flow into the marsh and/or allow trapped freshwater to flow out of the marshes Invasive Plant Summary and Update
  32. 32. Ecological Restoration and Enhancement Eelgrass Restoration • Plum Island Sound and Essex Bay • Transplant sites identified by modeling efforts • Use multiple donor sources to build a genetically diverse population • Green Crab Monitoring and Marsh Edge Erosion Outcome 2015: Restored 1.5 acre to naturally stabilize creek channels and tidal flats in the Great Marsh
  33. 33. Genetic Diversity • Manchester • Annisquam • Niles Beach • Pleasant Bay • Duck Harbor • Scituate • Nahant • Great Bay
  34. 34. Plant Sites Under Sandy Grant • 80% survival mouth of Essex Bay • 15% survival in other sections of Essex Bay, however another area has been Colonized by eelgrass nearby • Minimal survival Plum Island Sound • Five sets of eelgrass transplants completed in 2015
  35. 35. Baseline Monitoring of Green Crab 2015 Russell trap Spring 2014 - 1384 total - 0 to 215 CPUE - 2 x females - carapace 1.5 to 2 in Summer 2014 - 4762 total - 34 to 572 CPUE - 3 x females - carapace 1.5 to 2 in Fall 2014 - 1720 total - 15 to 226 CPUE - females = males - carapace 1.5 to 2 in Spring 2015 - 127 total - 0-57 CPUE - male/female equal - >2.5cm carapace width - 154 rock crabs Summer 2015 - 706 total - 1-128 CPUE - 3.5 x females -.2.5 cm carapace width Fall 2015 - 1390 total - 0-126 CPUE -2x females - 5 cm carapace width <15 green crabs per CPUE for eelgrass growth and survival
  36. 36. Impact on Great Marsh Ecosystem
  37. 37. Marsh Edge Erosion (MEE) in the Great Marsh • Assess impact of Green Crab on marsh platform - loss at Roger’s Island (>5 m) between 2010 and 2013 23 Transects being monitored in Essex Bay and Plum Island Sound • 2015 Sediment cores, shear strength, marsh cameras, RTK, wave erosion tests
  38. 38. Marsh Edge Erosion
  39. 39. • Student Conservation Association • Utilize volunteers • Hire, train, and employ students for time-critical support project components Restoration Support through Youth Engagement Community Resiliency Planning
  40. 40. Summation By 2017, the Great Marsh will be well on its way back to being a healthy, resilient, functioning system; protecting the natural ecosystems and communities infrastructure from SLR and coastal storms Transferability In addition to the project actions and lessons learned from this restoration effort, it is anticipated that the stakeholder development and team model approach will be applicable throughout Massachusetts Bay, New England and the East Coast