Climate Change Observatory (CCO) at Portland Trail’s Fore River Sanctuary

Developed in Partnership with the Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative, Portland Trails, and FB Environmental.

Coastal Maine’s communities, land trusts, and ecosystems have been experiencing the impacts of climate change through sea level rise, flooding, coastal erosion, and loss of wetlands. Portland Trails is participating in the Climate Change Observatory (CCO) Network program to help monitor and document climate change impacts over time.

Project Background

What is picture post monitoring?

Picture post monitoring is a simple and effective means of monitoring change at a specified site. The installed picture post (a wooden post at a designated location) allows for monitoring at a fixed location at regular intervals by resting a camera on the post bracket and documenting the area by taking a picture.

Climate Change Observatory (CCO):

The Fore River Sanctuary CCO picture post monitors water levels, vegetation changes, subsidence, erosion, and changes in land use over time. The picture post allows us to understand how coastal land in Maine is being affected by climate change in the long-term. The collected photographs serve as baseline data, and allow for close observation, measurement, and analysis of long-term climate change trends.

Where do I help take photos?

In the Fore River Sanctuary, head out anytime to take pictures at the picture post, located at (see map – FRS-PT-CCO-1: Latitude: 43.660406 | Longitude: -70.309083). If you are interested in seeing how high water impacts the saltmarsh, you could time your pictures for the highest tide of each month. Find the highest tide date for Portland, ME here:

Photos and Data Collection: via Picture Post

Use the QR Code below or go to:

QR Code_PicturePost App_PT-FRS-CCO-1
QR Code_PicturePost App_PT-FRS-CCO-1

Photos are being collected through the publicly accessible Picture Post App. Picture Post is a part of the Digital Earth Watch (DEW) network. The Picture Post Network enables citizen scientists and students to measure environmental change. With cameras and smart phones, citizens are collecting meaningful information about the well-being of their communities as part of a grassroots effort to understand the local effects of global climate change.

Use the Picture Post App to take a series of photos to document changes all around the post capturing water levels, vegetation changes, subsidence, erosion and land use changes.

Take photos & upload them via the App, QR Code or web address link above.

Photos and Data Collection: via MyCoast

Use the QR Code below or go to:

QR Code-MyCoast_PT-FRS-CCO-1
QR Code-MyCoast_PT-FRS-CCO-1

Photos and reports are also being collected on the publicly accessible MyCoast App and is used by Portland Trails to identify climate change impacts and by Maine Geological Survey (MGS) and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Use Maine’s MyCoast App to report and document changes using the King Tide Report, Storm Damage Report, or Coastal Resilience Report.

Take photo(s) & upload them via the App, QR Code or web address link above.

Portland Trails: Fore River Sanctuary: FRS-PT-CCO-1
Latitude: 43.660406 | Longitude: -70.309083

Trailhead Information

South Entrance: Follow Portland’s Congress Street to the Maine Orthopedics building at 1601 Congress Street, at the corner of Frost Street. Trail parking is available at the far corner of the parking lot, at Congress and Frost.  

Find a Climate Change Observatory location: