With last December’s floods still fresh on their minds, Marshfield officials say the town’s seawalls may not be able to guard against storm damage because of a predicted rise in sea levels over the next century.
Marshfield plans to work with Scituate and Duxbury to take a broader look at different strategies, including buying-up private property, to prevent coastal damage from the sea.
To help get them started, the towns have received a joint grant of $15,000 from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council.
The money will be used to research ways to cope with rising seas, a changing shoreline, and the increased storm activity predicted by climatologists.
Officials will also examine whether it makes sense to spend public money protecting waterfront property and how best to handle the issue in public policy.
Marshfield and Scituate face especially-high costs to repair sea walls, some of which are in failing condition.
Before the December storm, the cost in Marshfield was estimated at $17 million.
In Scituate it’s $25 million, the highest on the South Shore.