For each type of geographic area (by town and by shoreline district,) information is presented as tables of values as well as charts. The tables provide numeric values of the minimum and maximum values for the change metrics (Net Shoreline Movement, End Point Rate, and Linear Regression Rate) as well as associated averages and uncertainty ranges. The charts provide a visual display of the actual change values along an axis representing the coast with common or unique places or landforms identified for context. In this way, users can see the progression and magnitude changes moving across the entire Connecticut coastline. A few samples are included on the Examples page, and the entire suite of results are included as part of the project report.

When examining any of the results it is important to understand that the cause of change can vary. For example:

  • some changes may result from naturally occurring trends given the specific physical characteristics of the area;
  • some changes may result from a variety of man-made influences such as building structures that impede or restrict sediment transport, filling of wetlands, adding sand to nourish beaches, etc.;
  • some changes may be a combination of both, or some other set of causes;

In limited circumstances we deal with “cause” by excluding certain shoreline sections that historical data show as either heavily urbanized or where significant and obvious filling or shoreline modification has occurred. The industrialization of Bridgeport, New Haven and the Lower Thames River, as well as sections in Fairfield County are some examples. This was done to mitigate skewing the overall characteristics that look at “how fast” change may be happening. In other words, data indicating End Point Rate and Linear Regression Rate do not use these shorelines. However, when looking at “how much” an area has changed (Net Shoreline Movement) we did NOT eliminate these data in order to accurately convey the magnitude of change. It is relevant to note that timeframes prevented a comprehensive assessment of ALL possible exclusion areas, and as such what was used here were only the most obvious, large scale sections. While it may be tempting to try to use the data to immediately associate changes to causes, the level of analysis used here does not directly support such efforts. Thus, while it may tempting to say that “this area is eroding because of these groins,” the data should only be used as a screening tool identify where additional specific research may be required. Accordingly, the results from this study focus mainly on presenting calculated statistically valid values of change both numerically and within a spatial construct.

Download the Shoreline Analysis vector datasets as a zipped ArcGIS file geodatabase (gdb) -14MB

Download Shoreline Analysis datasets as an ArcGIS map package (mpk) -7MB

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