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Massachusetts Shoreline Change Project, 2021 Update: A GIS Compilation of Shoreline Change Rates Calculated Using Digital Shoreline Analysis System Version 5.1, With Supplementary Intersects and Baselines for Massachusetts

September 1, 2021

The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management launched the Shoreline Change Project in 1989 to identify erosion-prone areas of the coast and support local land-use decisions. Trends of shoreline position over long and short-term timescales provide information to landowners, managers, and potential buyers about possible future impacts to coastal resources and infrastructure. In 2001, a 1994 shoreline was added to calculate both long- and short-term shoreline change rates along ocean-facing sections of the Massachusetts coast. In 2013 two oceanfront shorelines for Massachusetts were added using 2008-2009 color aerial orthoimagery and 2007 topographic lidar datasets obtained from NOAA's Ocean Service, Coastal Services Center. In 2018, two new mean high water (MHW) shorelines for the Massachusetts coast extracted from lidar data between 2010-2014 were added to the dataset. This 2021 data release includes rates that incorporate one new shoreline extracted from 2018 lidar data collected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Joint Airborne Lidar Bathymetry Technical Center of Expertise (JALBTCX), added to the existing database of all historical shorelines (1844-2014), for the North Shore, South Shore, Cape Cod Bay, Outer Cape, Buzzard’s Bay, South Cape, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard, excluding Boston harbor and the Elizabeth Islands. Included in this data release is a proxy-datum bias reference line that accounts for the positional difference in a proxy shoreline (like a High Water Line shoreline) and a datum shoreline (like a Mean High Water shoreline). This issue is explained further in Ruggiero and List (2009) and in the process steps of the metadata associated with the rates. This release includes both long-term (~150+ years) and short term (~30 years) rates. Files associated with the long-term rates have "LT"; in their names, files associated with short-term rates have "ST"; in their names.