Welcome to Storm Surge!

Storm Surge was formed in the spring of 2013 by a group of concerned citizens in the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts in response to the devastation that had occurred on Plum Island the winter before.

Our mission is to enhance the resilience of the coastal communities and ecosystems in the greater Newburyport area through science-based education and empowerment of all — youth and citizens.

Grant Results in Three School Presentations

Storm Surge won a grant at the end of 2019 from New England Biolabs to present in-school programs about climate change and its local impacts. Our group was prepared to engage students in Newburyport school classrooms until the Covid pandemic forced us to change our plans. In reaction to this new reality, Storm Surge formed an education committee which created PowerPoint presentations in a video format. The result—three presentations that merge climate science and local environmental concerns for use by educators and our community. This outcome has been a silver lining during a difficult year for all, and serves as an important reminder to our organization that we can continue to educate the public about climate impacts, no matter what.

The first video, Climate Change, It’s Natural and It’s Human, discusses the contribution of human-produced greenhouse gases to climate change and how and why they must be reduced. The second topic focuses on our local green infrastructure, the Great Marsh, which serves as an important barrier to the impacts of climate change, but is itself becoming more and more vulnerable to those very impacts. This topic is addressed in a two-part series: The Great Marsh, Past and Present and The Great Marsh, Our Future Together.

Each video can be used in one class period, remotely or in the classroom. Built-in pauses allow time for class discussion. An instructor’s guide for each class provides suggested activities and additional resources. These videos were designed for school use, but we believe they are relevant for a much wider audience and so we share them with you.


Our Winter 2021 newsletter will be coming soon. Read our Fall 2020 newsletter for more information about our organization.

Newburyport Climate Resiliency Plan

Newburyport Climate Resiliency Plan was recently published on the city’s website. The plan was authored by the city’s Resiliency Committee with significant input from former Storm Surge Chair, Mike Morris. The report includes sections from earlier work by the city on Municipal Vulnerability Planning, the 2017 Newburyport Master Plan, Green Communities initiatives, and input from city officials and outside consultants.  The report contains a summary on climate change, sea level rise, storm intensity and frequency predictions, the effect and vulnerabilities of current city infrastructure assets, and recommendations for necessary strategies to minimize its risk exposure.  Storm Surge will be supporting the city’s efforts to communicate the plan with its Speaker Series and other projects.

Missed A Recent Program?

To learn about other Storm Surge programs, check out our Event Archive.

Storms, Flooding, Evacuation – Be Prepared

Storm Surge created a Be Prepared document to help us get ready for emergency events. The one-page Sheet provides phone numbers for local emergency and medical contacts, a list of supplies important for you to have on hand, and ways to plan for emergency evacuation, including what to bring with you. There is a Sheet for Newburyport and another for the North Shore to view and print, applicable to both residents and business owners.

Be Prepared for Newburyport

Be Prepared for the North Shore