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Coastal Engineering Company of Orleans Cape Cod
Buzzards Bay Hazard Mitigation Plan Thumb

Buzzards Bay Flood Hazard Mitigation Planning and Design Study

Coastal Engineering Co. in association with Kennen Landscape Architecture, Ocean-US Architects, and Daley Witten, conducted a detailed study to illustrate the potential flood susceptibility of Buzzards Bay and make recommendations on flood hazard mitigation strategies to assist in the re-development of Main Street Business District located in a FEMA flood zone. Using GIS analysis, the study inventoried the existing structures to assess their compliance with floodplain construction standards. Following the analysis, each parcel was placed in a Category corresponding to a set of applicable mitigation strategies, which were considered on two scales. First, parcel-scale strategies were articulated to help property owners and the Town understand how existing buildings could be retrofitted to mitigate flood damage. Secondly, comprehensive village-scale design ideas, including relocating the downtown core, were suggested. The findings were illustrated by color-coded matrixes, flow charts, and maps that corresponded to levels of flood susceptibility in the village and keyed in a series of flood mitigation strategies. This complex investigation was described to town stakeholders through a series of public meetings. The final document has been praised for its easy-to-read layout and simple explanation of what property owners could do to floodproof their parcels.


  • Research and creation of Flood Analysis Matrix including State Building Code, FEMA, and Coastal Construction Manual regulatory requirements as applicable
  • Provide recommendations for design opportunities by categories as derived in the Matrix
  • Meet with The Town to codify a list of potential strategies to help mitigate flood risk
  • Prepare final report that incorporates the findings and recommendations developed
  • Public meeting to present findings