Maine's tourist beaches have experienced chronic erosion for a long time. Efforts by scientists and government planners to regulate development have run into conflict with property owners. To reconcile the two groups, a beach profiling project was begun to better understand the behavior of beaches as well as to bring the regulators and regulated together. Early results have demonstrated that southwest storms lead to beach accretion; northeast storms lead to erosion. A web site and an annual meeting where the data are presented have each proven very popular. This program of involving volunteers to gather otherwise-hard-to-collect data has been very successful and would work in many other locations.
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