As the weather reports came in the first week of February, it was clear Marshfield was going to get a lot of snow, and the coastal region was looking at damaging surf and strong winds After the blizzard, we asked coastal residents to send us damage info via email, which we then sent to the appropriate officials in Marshfield. We received comments about stairs pulling away from the wall, seawall caps (top of the wall) were damaged and had been physically removed, and there were several emails expressing concern about the beach erosion. Overall, in regards to our coastal infrastructure, Marshfield weathered the storm with minimal direct damage. However, ask the residents who were flooded, received damage to their property, or who had no power for almost a week, they may have a different opinion. This storm, notoriously named “Nemo”, highlighted everything the Marshfield Coastal Coalition, a citizens based group aimed at informing and working for Marshfield and its residents, have been and will be working on.
Already we are exploring raising our Community Rating Service (CRS) level. Residents who haven’t heard of CRS will start to hear a lot more about it, and for a good reason. CRS is a rating system program implemented by FEMA and it puts money back in your pocket. Higher the rating, higher the savings on your flood insurance premiums. Right now Marshfield has a rating of nine; the lowest rating is ten. However this rating of nine means that you already receive 5% off your flood insurance. If your not getting the discount, which can be found on your flood insurance statement, all you have to do is ask your insurer, and you will get the 5% discount. If we as the Coastal Coalition can get Marshfield to an eight (or as we hope, a seven) residents could see up to a 15% discount on their premiums. A member on the Marshfield Coastal Coalition Executive Board was on the original Coastal Advisory Committee that worked diligently and achieved our first CRS rating in the early 90’s. Many flood insurance policy holders have never flooded, but are required to carry flood insurance. Flooding is not limited to homes facing the ocean as Marshfield has many low -lying areas far and away from the ocean. This is why CRS is important for everyone, and “Nemo” showed this.
This storm also highlights the inevitable: our coastal infrastructure is vulnerable. There are people who would like to believe that maintaining and upholding our coastal infrastructure (seawalls, jetties, beaches) is not valuable, throwing money at a loosing problem. However, our view is from the perspective that over 25% of Marshfield is directly affected by a breach of any seawall.
We believe that as long as residents live in areas prone to flooding the Marshfield Coastal Coalition will protect and advance efforts to maintain that infrastructure, while at the same time looking at alternative ways to protect and enhance our beaches, reduce flooding risk, and improve the quality of life overall. The first in these efforts is our recommendation to support the request coming forward this year at Marshfield Special Town Meeting in April to approve about five million dollars for our seawalls. While we need to focus on alternative coastal protection, our seawalls cannot be neglected in the short term. Our petition of support is at the link: www.ipetitions.com/petition/support-dpw-seawall-money-request/
The Marshfield Coastal Coalition’s mission is simple: to allow the citizens of Marshfield to have an active voice in coastal issues in town and regionally, along with keeping Marshfield citizens informed on coastal issues that affect them. The winter storm “Nemo” damaged the entire town of Marshfield and hammered our coast, and the focus once again is how do we handle the multitude of coastal issues we face. The Marshfield Coastal Coalition is working on various issues. Working to improve the Community Rating Service and advancing our coastal protection are just several tasks we are working on, all of which are for the benefit of the citizens that we represent. Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Marshfield Coastal Coalition