While coastal cities increasingly are calling for sea barriers and other large flood-protection projects, municipalities such as Saco, Maine, are undertaking smaller initiatives such as requiring waterfront properties to be raised three feet above 100-year-flood levels during rebuilding or renovations. "People want to look to a big, bold project they can point to that will make people feel safe," but such projects do not necessarily ensure their protection, said Adam Freed of the Nature Conservancy.

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