The sea level off Massachusetts’ coast is up to 8 inches higher than it was in 1950.1 This increase is mostly due to due to changes in ocean circulation2 and ice melt.3 Solutions can be complicated because although Massachusetts has coastal wetlands and beaches that protect communities and wildlife from flooding, these natural barriers are themselves at risk from sea level rise.4 There are already over 27,564 properties at risk from from tidal flooding in Massachusetts.5 The state is planning over $1 billion in sea level rise solutions, which include restoration projects, flood prevention, and the preservation of coastal wetlands.
Sea level rise is speeding up
The sea level around Boston, Massachusetts, has risen by 8 inches since 1950. Its speed of rise has accelerated over the last ten years and it’s now rising by about 1 inch every 8 years.1 Scientists know this because the sea level is measured every 6 minutes using equipment like satellites, floating buoys off the coast, and tidal gauges to accurately measure the local sea level as it accelerates and changes.6
Sea level measurement from Boston area tide gauge since 1950