New England has always been All About The Shoreline.
The Shoreline is in trouble.
"The Coast Is Toast", if we fail to act before things go critical.
Sea Level Rise is the essence of the ol' Think Global/Act Local thing.
Local for me is The North Shore of Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
What does Sea Level Rise mean to those of us along the ol' Noth Shoa?
Here's the skinny.
You can find conflicting reports on every aspect of Sea Level Rise.
It's part of Climate Change.
All the spurious bombast associated with Climate Change has spread directly to the Sea Level Rise discussion.
I believe that The Ocean is showing signs of warming and expanding.
This will lead to bigger tides and stronger coastal storms along the US East Coast.
That's my informed opinion, based on extensive recent study combined with a lifetime spent around Earth's Shoreline, working as a boat carpenter.
I know as much as anybody and I care even more.
I love anyplace where land and Sea meet, from beautiful, pristine beaches to oil soaked, rotting docks surrounded by sunken derelicts.
Believe what you will about Sea Level Rise.
The fact is, real or imagined, it's already costing you money.
Start with recent FEMA flood zone insurance bumps, add in tax increases to pay for coastal protection, go from there to price increases across the board.
Commercial ports will soon be affected by Sea Level Rise.
Everything will be more expensive as maritime shipping rates steadily escalate.
Somebody has to pay for increased port maintenance.
Straight to the pocketbook.
That should interest New Englanders.
"What's gonna happen out my back door? What's it gonna cost me?", are the real questions driving most people's interest.
Here's something to help answer those questions.
Earth's Ocean is not going to suddenly well up and overflow its banks like a spreading river.
Sea Level Rise is a wide ranging, widely varying, regional phenomenon.
Some areas of coastline will be greatly affected, while others escape pretty much unscathed.
The top layer of Ocean water is constantly mixing and churning from winds above and Ocean currents below.
The Gulf Stream, off our East Coast, carries warmer waters North while the North Atlantic Current mixes with The Greenland Current, transporting cooler waters South.
The Gulf Stream will carry warmer and warmer waters North as Equatorial regions warm.
The North Atlantic current will get bigger and colder from polar melt.
Churning and mixing at the surface will result in warmer waters being pushed further North and closer to shore than ever before.
These warmer waters will also bulge upward due to the expansive effects of Ocean heating, creating higher tides, and severe coastal flooding on a regular basis.
The East Coast of The USA is a hot spot for Sea Level Rise because of this phenomenon.
Our first noticeable experience from Sea Level Rise will be extreme coastal storms, fueled by warmer Northern waters, driving storm tides higher than ever recorded, more often than ever before.
Like I said, there's a lot of conflicting, confusing nonsense in the air regarding Sea Level Rise
Here's something New Englanders can bet on!
The Atlantic Cod is part of New England's heritage.
It began well over 400 years ago
Natives fished for Cod long before The Pilgrims.
How can anything be "Bigger Than Cod"?
Cod is symbolic of the region.
Unfortunately, Cod is History.
We have overfished the resource.
Cod stocks are severely depleted.
It's time to give it a break for a few decades while stocks replenish.
Progress is change, like it or not.
This is a transition point for New England.
Our Future, the History of New England's next 400 years, will be written based on the effects of Sea Level Rise.
What we do and how we react in the upcoming months will forge our economic future for longer than anyone can envision.
That said, Sea Level Rise and its potential effect on our future are "Bigger Than Cod".
Seize the moment while it's fresh, before our future is determined without our input.
If we ignore Sea Level Rise, and allow coastal infrastructure to crumble in the wake of fishing limits, Sea Level Rise, and ensuing economic downturn, it will not matter when Cod stocks come back.
There will be no place to offload.
All the fish in The Ocean are worthless on the boat.
There's work to be done either way.
Harbors, docks, beaches, anyplace where The Ocean meets The Shoreline, all are in danger from Sea Level Rise and from our efforts to defend against Sea Level Rise.
Right now, we are the biggest danger.
Moving forward with coastal protection projects based on the bombast and hot air put forth by local politicians will prove worse than doing nothing.
There's a lot to learn, and even more to do with the knowledge.
Here we go.
Keep reading to learn more.
You'll be glad you did.
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