How do I know if my property is within a beach or sand dune system?

Maine Geological Survey has mapped about 2,000 acres of sand dunes along 30 miles of the Maine coastline. The Coastal Sand Dune Geology Maps, which identify the frontal dune and back dune areas along the majority of southern Maine beach systems, are also available through the local Maine DEP office, and at your town office. All coastal sand dunes and wetlands in Maine are mapped this way. Just because a property is paved or covered with lawn doesn’t mean it is not in a sand dune system; dune zones are based on what the landscape would look like in a natural state, because from a construction/design perspective, hazards like storm surge are going to affect your property as if it were a dune.

See the Maps and Data section for links to other beach-related maps, including FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps, Coastal Marine Geologic Environment Maps, and Coastal Barrier Resources System Maps.

In addition, the 2011 State of Maine’s Beaches report documents general beach profile changes that have been monitored as part of the Maine Volunteer Beach Profile Monitoring Program. The release of these reports coincided with the Maine Beaches Conference, which occurs every two years.

If you are located in Saco Bay, you may want to refer to the Maine Geological Survey Report, Variation of Beach Morphology along the Saco Bay Littoral Cell: An Analysis of Recent Trends and Management Alternatives, which summarizes some of the shoreline trends along the bay.