Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

In Maryland, sea slowly claims a historic island

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Environment/Energy Donate to DU
 
n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:15 PM
Original message
In Maryland, sea slowly claims a historic island
With water levels in the Chesapeake Bay rising an inch per decade, Smith Island has lost more than 3,200 of its 11,000 acres over the past 150 years.

By Andy Nelson | Staff photographer of The Christian Science Monitor
from the November 15, 2007 edition



Smith Island, Md. - Sometime in the 1780S, John Tyler, a landowner on Smith Island in Maryland's Chesapeake Bay, dug a narrow boundary ditch in the soft ground to mark his property. After more than 220 years, wind and water in the bay have conspired to eat away at the land. Today the "ditch" is a waterway nearly a quarter-mile wide and an example of how nature is slowly consuming the island.

"Over the years it got wider and wider, but we still call it Tyler's Ditch," says local historian Jennings Evans.

Smith Island is actually a collection of small islands that together make up the last inhabited island in the Chesapeake Bay not connected by a bridge to the mainland.

Scientists calculate the water level in the bay is rising by a little more than an inch per decade: The sea is slowly taking over these specks of land, home to the hardy descendants of 17th-century English settlers.

"I know doesn't sound like much, but the reason for concern, especially in Maryland, is because the land is very low," says Michael Kearney, a University of Maryland geology professor who has studied the impact of sea-level rise on Chesapeake Bay.

Higher water levels mean stronger waves, increased erosion, rapid loss of marsh, and bigger storm surges. This could have a devastating effect in southern Maryland counties, where the average tide level extends more than a half-mile inland from the bay. That means waves from a big storm could penetrate far inland, Dr. Kearney adds.

more:

http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/1115/p13s01-wogi.html
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Environment/Energy Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC