Karina Graeter, Coordinator for Regional Sustainability and Coastal Resiliency / by Karina Graeter (provided)

ME - Maine towns pool resources to fund coastal resiliency coordinator

Six towns have a new ally as they work to address rising sea levels and plan for the resiliency and sustainability of the coastline they call home.

The Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission (SMPDC) announced Tuesday it has hired Karina Graeter as its new coordinator for regional sustainability and coastal resiliency. The new position is being funded by Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Wells, Ogunquit, Kittery and York.

“We are ecstatic to have Karina join us at SMPDC,” Paul Schumacher, executive director the nonprofit SMPDC, said in a news release. “We had many highly qualified candidates, but Karina’s mix of experience, education and interpersonal skills set her apart.”

Schumacher said Graeter will work with Abbie Sherwin, SMPDC’s senior coastal and land use planner. “Together, they will be a dynamic team who will have a positive impact on coastal resiliency and sustainability in our seacoast communities,” he said.

Graeter, who will start Feb. 10, will be responsible for developing local and regional climate action and coastal resiliency plans.

A native of Ohio, Graeter graduated from Bowdoin College with degrees in physics and in earth and oceanographic studies. She has a master’s degree in earth sciences from Dartmouth College, where she focused on climate change and published research on field work conducted in Greenland. For the past two years, she has served as the sustainability coordinator for the University of Maine. She lives in Dedham and said she plans to move to Kennebunk next month.

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