About the Class
Humans have already impacted the erosion of our island bluffs, as well as our marine and forest ecosystems. The more of us there are the greater the impact. Historically we’ve tended to act to protect our personal interests without regard for the future or even one another. We’ve constructed jetties, groins, and protected our shores through hard armoring without understanding beach erosion processes and the impacts of those interventions. Likewise, concerning our aquifers, we’ve drilled and pumped our aquifers without adequate understanding of their recharge, especially as we’ve increased our population in Island County. In some cases, our aquifers have been contaminated with “forever” (PFAS) chemicals.
Climate change is becoming alarmingly more impactful, increasing rates of bluff and beach erosion. Sea level rise, along with hotter and drier summers will strain aquifer resources potentially augmenting and expanding areas of saltwater intrusion that already exist in Island County.
Increased ocean temperature,
In this talk, we’ll unravel these processes and become wiser about the challenges we face and solutions that are possible.
Add-on Field trip: You, Me, and Nearshore Bluffs lead by PaulBen McElwain
Contact info: Paul Belanger