The Effect of Sea Level Rise on the Barrier Beaches of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket

Barrier beaches are a nice place to spend time, and they are popular spots for locals and tourists alike.  They are important to the economy of Cape Cod and the Islands for many reasons – including their role in buffering storm waves and storm surge.  Barrier beaches may seem stable but they are constantly changing. Can barrier beaches survive the effects of sea level rise? This new Extension Bulletin describes how barrier beaches are formed and how they respond to the forces of sea level rise, tides, and storm events. This understanding will help us to know what barrier beaches might look like in the future and whether there are steps we can take now to preserve them.

Free hard copies are currently available and can be ordered by emailing  Download the bulletin here.