In this Sept. 8, 2021, file photo, sailboats take advantage of strong winds on Casco Bay near Portland Head Light off Cape Elizabeth. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Ten Maine coastal communities on Casco Bay are banding together in hopes of being able to help prevent future flooding.

Over the next two years, the Casco Bay communities will invest a half million dollars on projects that could include restoring salt marshes and beach dunes, making rain gardens to reduce storm-water runoff and landscaping parks to reduce flooding and runoff. The plan would also work to protect shorelines using natural materials rather than sea walls.

The Portland Press Herald reported the communities involved in the project are Freeport, Falmouth, Cumberland, Yarmouth, Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough, Portland, South Portland, Chebeague Island and Long Island.

The projects will be paid for with a $250,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The Greater Portland Council of Governments raised an additional $250,000 in matching funds from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, foundation grants and donations from municipalities.

“Now is the time to start planning for the solutions that will ensure our coast can be economically, environmentally, and socially resilient to current and future impacts,” the council’s sustainability program manager, Sara Mills-Knapp, said. “We know that nature-based solutions to flooding are essential to protecting habitats and communities.”