There has been plenty of reporting about the potential effects of rising water levels brought on by global warming and low-lying South Florida has drawn the lion’s share of ink.
To the north, the Massachusetts coastline is facing the same challenge.
On the island of Nantucket, storms coupled with rising tides have eroded the bluff beneath some of the region’s most valuable real estate, edging the homes ever closer to the sea, the Boston Globe reports.
Homeowners have spent millions to move their old homes back on their lots.
Siasconset Beach homeowners last winter took emergency action: spending about $3 million to install a series of massive tubes along 850 feet of the beach. The controversial project, which they want to extend an additional 3,000 feet, has sparked a bitter rift between neighboring villages, a legal battle over wetlands law and the intervention of state authorities.
The Cape Cod Times produced a video of the geotube installation project:
Neighbors along the island’s east coast and local environmental groups argue that the homeowners are seeking to preserve their land at the expense of nearby beaches.
“If we stop the natural erosion, Great Point and beaches to the north and south will disappear. We think the entire topography of Nantucket will change forever,” Cormac Collier, executive director of the Nantucket Land Council, a private conservation group fighting the project, told the Globe, which also produced a video report.
In related news, the nearby port city of Boston is also grappling with the issue of rising tide.
A report scheduled to be released today about preparing Boston for climate change suggests that building canals through the Back Bay neighborhood would help it withstand water levels that could rise as much as 7 feet by 2100.
“This is a change that’s coming whether we want it or not,” Dennis Carlberg, director of sustainability at Boston University, who helped compile the report, told the Globe in a separate report. “Instead of being afraid of the problem, we need to embrace it and think about opportunities it offers us.”