Coastal Habitat Resiliency

Date: September 10, 2014
Time: 7-8 PM
Location: Cohasset Center for Student Coastal Research

This is a free presentation seminar and discussion event hosted by the Center for Student Coastal Research (CSCR), a non profit organization located in Cohasset on Boston’s South Shore. The CSCR educates students in environmental sciences, encourages environmental awareness, and promotes activism.

General attendance and participation is complimentary, tax deductible donations are welcome.

The 8th guest speaker of the seminar and discussion series is Mary B Griffin, Commissioner of the Department of Fish and Game (DFG). Mrs Griffin will discuss "Coastal Habitat Resiliency".

Mary Griffin


Commissioner Mary Griffin has been an environmental professional for the past eighteen years. She previously served as Acting Deputy Commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Prior to this role, she served as Assistant Commissioner for the Bureau of Resource Protection at MassDEP, which protects inland and coastal water resources, including wetlands.

Commissioner Griffin has served as General Counsel to the Secretary of Environmental Affairs, and Boston Harbor Regional Coordinator at the Office of Coastal Zone Management. As Chief of Legal Services for the state parks system, she managed the agency’s land acquisition program. The Commissioner served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Environmental Protection Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. In the private sector, she practiced environmental law at the Boston firm of WilmerHale.

She is a graduate of Davidson College and Cornell Law School. She lives in Hingham, Massachusetts with her two sons, and is an outdoor enthusiast.

Seminar Abstract: Enhancing Coastal Resiliency through Habitat Protection and Restoration

The Dept. of Fish & Game has a long history of working with partners and citizens to advance coastal habitat restoration and protection. As climate changes and sea level continues to rise, building coastal resiliency is an important strategy to safeguard our coasts, including the protection of natural buffers and restoring natural hydrology.

The coastal habitats of Massachusetts, including our wetlands, rivers, beaches, and tidal flats, provide many important benefits for our economy, communities, and quality of life. They support tourism, provide recreational and educational opportunities, increase property values, buffer communities from storm damage, sustain recreational and commercial fisheries, and store carbon. The projected effects of climate change - including rising seas levels, elevated temperatures, and increased storm intensity - further amplify the importance of protecting and restoring these habitats and their ability to adapt to changing conditions.

The Department of Fish and Game and its divisions work with many partners to enhance coastal climate change resiliency by protecting critical open space, restoring degraded natural habitats, and managing fisheries and wildlife resources. Examples include removing coastal dams and installing fish ladders to reconnect our rivers to the sea, restoring shellfish and seagrass beds, protecting coastal open space to maintain areas for tidal wetlands to migrate inland, and restoring tidal flow to coastal wetlands so they can elevate in response to higher sea levels. All of these efforts help maintain healthy coastal habitats and the services they provide to support resilient coastal communities.