ROCKLAND — The cost for Rockland to protect its waterfront properties near Harbor and Buoy Parks from rising seas will cost more than $4.8 million, a study says.

These estimates do not include the cost to prepare other municipal shorefront properties or private property in Rockland.

These are the findings of a report commissioned last year by the Maine Department of Marine Resources. The city received the report this month.

The study looked at single sites in 10 communities along Penobscot Bay.

The Maine Coastal Program, part of the Maine Department of Marine Resources, received a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to conduct the study in Rockland, Camden, South Thomaston, Lincolnville, Belfast, Searsport, Vinalhaven, North Haven, Castine and Stonington.

For Rockland, the report – developed by Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions, Inc. of Portland – focused on the middle pier next to Buoy Park, the harbor master’s building at Harbor Park, the sewage treatment pump station at Buoy Park, and the Maine Lobster Festival’s lobster cooker.

The report looked at NOAA sea level rise projections for 2030, 2050 and 2085.

The NOAA projections are for a 1-foot rise in storm surge wave action by 2030, 2-feet by 2050, and 4-feet by 2085.

By 2085, the authors are recommending that the middle pier be rebuilt at a higher elevation with granite blocks. The utilities that serve that pier should also be properly designed to resist water. The total cost of the pier work is estimated at nearly $2.7 million.

The city-owned building that houses the harbor master’s office, the yacht club and public restrooms should be replaced at a higher elevation, according to the report’s recommendations. That estimated cost is nearly $1.1 million.

The lobster cooker should be abandoned at its current location, which is in a flood zone, and built at a higher elevation, according to the report. The estimated cost of the design and construction is $200,000.

The current lobster cooker was built in 2008 with engraved bricks purchased by supporters of the Maine Lobster Festival.

Retrofitting the sewage pump station is estimated to cost $450,000.

The report says that raising the elevation of the Rockland breakwater, which provides protection for the coastline, is also a consideration. The report did not include that among its recommendations.

City Manager Tom Luttrell said he has looked at the study but is not sure how the estimated costs were developed.

He said he is asking the state to make a presentation to the City Council and public on the report.

The city hired a sustainability coordinator – Davis Saltonstall – who began work last month at City Hall.

Filling that position was one recommendation in the climate action plan prepared by the Rockland Energy Committee.


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