Ten communities surrounding Penobscot Bay will be included in a state study to determine how to deal with rising sea levels.

The Maine Coastal Program, part of the Maine Department of Marine Resources, received a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to conduct the study in Rockland, Camden, South Thomaston, Lincolnville, Belfast, Searsport, Vinalhaven, North Haven, Castine and Stonington, according to Coastal Program Deputy Director Matthew Nixon.

The goal of the project is to estimate the sea-level rise for each community and develop recommendations on protecting public infrastructure such as piers, public landings and causeways.

"If there is going to be public investment, we want to make sure it's spent wisely," he said of public infrastructure projects.

The study will begin in April, with results expected by early winter, Nixon said.

A consultant will be selected to conduct the study. The Coastal Program will also work with the Maine Geological Society.

The study will focus on one location for each of the 10 Pen Bay region communities. In Rockland that will be the middle pier next to the Maine Lobster Festival cooker. In Camden, the site to be studied is the public landing. In South Thomaston, the study site will be the Spruce Head Island causeway that was heavily damaged during the Patriots Day Gale of 2007.

In Lincolnville, the municipal fish pier next to the Maine State Ferry Terminal will be studied. The former fish plant pier on Vinalhaven, the Pulpit Harbor pier on North Haven, the public landing in Belfast, and the lobster cooperative in Stonington will also be studied.