Tide gates are used to drain and manage areas which tides regularly cover for agricultural or other uses. The purpose of this project was to perform a state-wide tide gate inventory, then to use information from the inventory to develop a comprehensive and easy-to-use web-based geospatial analysis tool with information and planning tools related to tide gates in Massachusetts.
On behalf of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) and the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program (MassBays), Geosyntec developed TIDEGateway, a web-based assessment and planning tool for tide gates in the MassBays region. This U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Project of Special Merit included three components:
- Gathering and assessing existing information related to tide gates in the MassBays planning area: Salisbury to Provincetown
- Producing an interactive, web-based inventory and assessment tool to aid managers in the management of tide gates for ecological restoration, flood protections, and climate change adaptation
- Developing and implementing a field protocol to gather tide gate data
The successful development of TIDEGateway has laid the groundwork for more active and appropriate management of tide gates in the face of sea level rise projections, floodplain encroachment, and aging infrastructure. TIDEGateway provides a central repository for permits, management plans, photos, and other tide gate data collected through field investigations through a web mapping interface.
TIDEGateway has already provided actionable information to NOAA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. EPA Region 1, and state resource managers. Managers are able to view a tide gate in relation to natural resources, FEMA flood maps, and nearby infrastructure. TIDEGateway will help inform policy relating to funding and management by providing a more complete view of the breadth, status, and future demands on the state's tide gate infrastructure. In next stages, TIDEGateway will serve as a vehicle for sharing technical expertise and management tools (Operation and Maintenance plans) among tide gate managers, and could be expanded to include other infrastructure such as tidal culverts.
This project was guided by an advisory committee representing a wide range of state and federal agencies. TIDEGateway will be used by these same organizations as existing tide gates are upgraded or maintained and new tide gates are proposed. It is a dynamic resource that will maintain its relevance and value over time, especially with anticipated changes in sea levels and climate.