Department or Program



Barrier beaches are highly valuable coastal systems which provide protection to both manmade and ecological interests. Beaches worldwide are retreating due to climate change and sea level rise, which threatens those assets which they would otherwise protect. This study focused on monitoring Seawall Beach in southwest Maine using the Emery Method. Field research was conducted in the fall of 2020 and aimed to construct profiles of its beachface and dune ridges for comparison with archival data at the same locations over a 33-year period. Results indicate that the beach has retreated about 11 meters since the earliest available profiles in 1987. These findings support previous research (Nelson and Fink, 1979) indicating that Seawall Beach is retreating in intermittent events driven by record storms at an average rate of about 33 cm/year. This trend is likely to continue and eventually accelerate unless some form of action is taken towards addressing it.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Michael Retelle

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

Main document

Open Access

Available to all.