Team members: Roger Allen, Janine Reardon,
Tracy White, Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Toomey
East Grand Beach the northern extension of Old Orchard
Beach, a 7.3 km long barrier complex that extends, unborken, from Goosefare
Brook to the Scarborough River Inlet (Nelson, 1979). The barrier
is divided into two sections, and East Grand Beach is located in the northern
section, at the Cumberland/York County line. Grand Beach generally
trends northeast-southwest. An extensive salt marsh, connecting to
the Scarborough River and its tributaries, backs most of the Old Orchard/Grand
Beach barrier. A small section of Old Orchard abuts a sandy glacial
The Old Orchard Beach ridge was not always the smooth,
curved crescent shape that it now is. The coast was slightly irregular
with rocky promontories, small stream inletrs and a more open Scarobrough
Estuary (Farrell, 1972). Before 1859-1868, the Little River Inlet, a tidal
reentrant, formed the Old Orchard Beach-Scarborugh town line, as well as
the York-Cumberland County boundary. The inlet was closed when a
railroad causeway was constructed. The Saco River is the main source
of sand to the beach, which travels north from the river mouth. Old
Orchard currently appears relatively stable, although shoreline retreat
is likely as sea level continues to rise (Kelley et al., 1995).
The quality of East Grand Beach has been greatly modified
by humans. Houses, condominiums, motels and restaurants line the
shore from Old Orchard to Grand Beach. These buildings were constructed
on the remnants of the frontal dunes. Large volumes of sand are buried
beneath these relatively indestructible buildings (Kelley et al., 1989).
Five million cubic meters of sand, eroded from Camp Ellis, has been added
to Pine Point between 1867 and 1955 (Kelley et al., 1995).
Pine Point was once a barrier island, when the Little
River tidal reentrant was contiguous with marshland that drained into the
Scarborough River. It was the only barrier island in Maine (Nelson,
1979). About 22 x 106 m3 of sand exists in
the dunes and beach of Saco Bay, compared with 56 x 106 m3
on the submerged shoreface (Kelley et al., 1995).
Dickson, S.M., in press, Beach and Dune Geology, Grand Beach, Scarborough, Maine, Maine Geological Survey, Open-File Report (Photo 12-8).
Farrell, Stewart C., 1972, Present Coastal Processes, Recorded Changes, and the Post-Pleistocene Geologic Record of Saco Bay, Maine [Unpublished Ph.D. thesis]: University of Massachusetts, 296 p.
Kelley, J.T., Belknap, D.F., FitzGerald, D.M., Barber, C.D., Dickson, S.M, and vanHeteren, S., 1995, A Sand Budget for Saco Bay, Maine, Maine Geological Survey, Open-File Report 95-1, 40 p.
Kelley, J.T., Kelley, A.R. and Pilkey, O.H., sr., 1989, Living With the Coast of Maine, Duke University Press, Durham, NC, 174 p.
Kelley, J.T., Shipp, R.C., and Belknap, D.F., 1989, Geomorphology and Late Quaternary Evolution of the Saco Bay Region, Maine Geological Survey: Studies in Maine Geology, vol. 5, p. 47-65.
Nelson, B.W., 1979, Shoreline Changes and Physiography
of Maine’s Sandy Coastal Beaches [Unpublished M.S. thesis]: University
of Maine, 303 p.