Shoreline Change in CT – 100 Years of Erosion & Accretion

April 1, 2014

Presented by Joel Stocker, UConn CLEAR & Sea Grant and Kevin O’Brien, CT DEEP

Recent storms have focused interest on the dynamics of the shoreline. Receiving attention is the question, “What has it done in the past?” In 2010 the USGS released a report on historical shoreline change along the New England and Mid-Atlantic coasts from Virginia to Maine. Connecticut, behind Long Island and Long Island Sound, was not analyzed. With funding from NOAA and National Sea Grant, our team from Connecticut Sea Grant, UConn Extension, and Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has taken on an ambitious project designed to fill the gap. Our goal is to highlight and quantify the changes to Connecticut’s shoreline over the last 100 years. Using maps dating from the 1880’s, more recent GIS datasets, and a USGS software program shoreline features were analyzed along the entire length of the State using geologic and political boundaries.  Results identify areas of change (both eroding and accreting), by quantifying not only how much the shoreline has moved, but also the rate of change. A summary of overall trends is also provided.

View Video