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Massachusetts Shoreline Change Project: A GIS Compilation of Vector Shorelines for the 2018 update

December 7, 2018

The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management launched the Shoreline Change Project in 1989 to identify erosion-prone areas of the coast. The shoreline position and change rate are used to inform management decisions regarding the erosion of coastal resources. In 2001, a 1994 shoreline was added to calculate both long- and short-term shoreline change rates at 40-meter intervals 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. This 2018 update includes two new mean high water (MHW) shorelines for the Massachusetts coast extracted from lidar data collected between 2010-2014. The first new shoreline for the state includes data from 2010 along the North Shore and South Coast from lidar data collected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Joint Airborne Lidar Bathymetry Technical Center of Expertise (JALBTCX). Shorelines along the South Shore and Outer Cape are from 2011 lidar data collected by the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Geospatial Program Office. Shorelines along Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard are from a 2012 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Post Sandy Topographic lidar survey. The second new shoreline for the North Shore, Boston, South Shore, Cape Cod Bay, Outer Cape, South Cape, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, and South Coast west of Buzzards Bay is from 2013-2014 lidar data collected by the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Coastal and Marine Geology Program. Shorelines were extracted from these lidar surveys using several different methods dependent on the location of the shoreline and whether or not wave data were available.