Implementing the Great Marsh Coastal Adaptation Plan

We’ve been told that the Ipswich River Watershed Association is one of the best kept secrets on the North Shore, but now that secret is out. On the front page of The Boston Globe, North section, beneath a wintry image of the Great Marsh, our Environmental Planner Kristen Grubbs is pictured and quoted. She recently spoke with a Globe reporter about the release of the final Great Marsh Adaptation Plan, and how towns on the North Shore are moving forward with its recommendations. The plan advises looking at nature-based solutions and protecting the natural resources, like the Great Marsh, that are our best defenses against storm surges,sea level rise, and other weather events.

With the completion and publication of the plan last December, communities in the upper North Shore are not resting on their laurels. Ipswich Task Force members, including Kristen Grubbs and Ipswich Conservation Administrator Alicia Geilen, presented the recommendations of the plan to the Board of Selectmen at a recent meeting. Outgoing Ipswich Town Manager Robin Crosbie has gathered status updates on the recommendations from all the town department heads, and the Selectboard members have committed to keeping this coastal resiliency and sustainability work at the forefront as they hire their new town manager in the upcoming months.

Neighboring coastal communities are moving the work forward as well. This spring, the Town of Essex is working with Ipswich River staff to complete their Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) project funded through state’s resiliency planning initiative. Both Newburyport and Newbury also have MVP grants and are forming new task forces to complete resiliency action plans.

As was quoted in The Boston Globe article, our local community leaders in the Great Marsh region are “looking forward to putting an action plan in place, with a timeline and funding to support it.” Members of the community can help, by supporting implementation projects and getting involved. Stay tuned for more updates on coastal and inland resiliency and contact us with any questions.  

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