Coastal Resiliency

Climate Change

View from boardwalk, looking at dune grass and marsh.

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The Town of Sandwich has made it a priority to explore strategies to reduce current and future vulnerabilities to the Town's infrastructure due to the impacts of climate change and sea level rise, (i.e. flooding, storm surge, etc.).  In this section you will find information regarding the Town's strategy and efforts in coastal resilience, including important documents and links to partnership agencies and stakeholders.  This website will be updated with new information as soon as it becomes available.


The Town of Sandwich has been dealing with storms, coastal flooding and beach/dune erosion for hundreds of years.  The construction of the Cape Cod Canal over 100 years ago interrupted the natural migration of sand along the coastline (known as the littoral drift) and the rock groins (Jetties that stick out perpendicular to the beaches) were installed in the 1940's and 1950's to help keep migrating sand on the beaches at Town Neck.  (The areas between the groins are known as cells.)  The Town became acutely aware of the issue of beach/dune erosion after the 1991 so called 'No Name' storms and then of course came the devastating winter storms in 2013 (Nemo), 2015 (Juno) & 2018 (Grayson).  It is estimated that it will take over 400,000 cubic yards of sand on the beach at Town Neck to restore the beach/dune system (known as a barrier beach).  For reference:  that means building a dune that is up to 21 feet high and up to 100 feet wide for the entire stretch of coastline!

In 2017 the Town received a grant from the Massachusetts Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program (MVP) and with help from the Woods Hole Group obtained MVP Community Certification status in 2018.  Sandwich, followed by the Town of Falmouth were the first MVP certified communities on Cape Cod.  The MVP Certification helped enable the Town to receive MVP Action Grants in 2018 (Vulnerable Municipal Infrastructure Assessment) and 2019 (Communicating the Local Benefits of a Resilient Coast).  The Town has applied for a 3rd MVP Action Grant (Sandwich Village Resilient Vision) that will seek to develop adaptation/resilience alternatives leveraging nature-based solutions to mitigate future vulnerabilities.

The Town of Sandwich is committed to building community coastal resilience and reducing vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.  Be sure to check back often to this website to see the latest information and developments.