At The Water’s Edge
Landscape-Based Adaptations for Sea-level Rise in Barnstable
Barnstable, Massachusetts is Cape Cod’s largest town
located between Mashpee and Yarmouth. The town’s
two coastlines, abutting Cape Cod Bay to the north
and Nantucket Sound to the south, comprise 170
miles of coastline, and make Barnstable especially, and
profoundly, vulnerable to coastal hazards.
Barnstable’s bi-coastal geography increases its risks and
vulnerabilities from coastal processes and events including
flooding and storm surges. These hazards are not a problem
to be solved, but a reality that all coastal communities
must accept. During the winter of 2018, Barnstable was
inundated by flooding and storm surge by three 100 year
storms – also known as a storm with a 1% chance of occuring
in any given year. Houses and businesses along coastlines
and harbors throughout Barnstable remain highly exposed
to these events and make the town vulnerable to future
damage and destruction. Coastal communities can no
longer fight climate change; they must adapt to its realty.
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