Posted by: coastlinesproject | April 26, 2017

George Buckley

Posted by: coastlinesproject | April 25, 2017

George Buckley to speak about Ocean Acidification.

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Ocean Acidification
Wed, April 26, 2017
7-8:30 pm
Parker River Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center Auditorium
6 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport
Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution society has burned fossil fuels for energy. The oceans have quietly been absorbing about one quarter of the CO2 emissions we release into the atmosphere every year since then. This has tempered the warming of the world, but at a great cost. The CO2 absorbed by the ocean has changed the chemistry of the seawater, making it acidic. To date it has been largely unnoticed as the effects are underwater and gradual in nature.

However scientists have documented that this change in acidity is affecting life in the ocean, from larval forms of sea life to any creature that has a calcium-based shell. It is compromising coral reefs, ocean ecosystems and entire food chains. When coral reefs and shellfish die for example, ecosystems and fisheries will be impacted, as will the world’s food supply. Locally, native clams, mussels, shrimp and lobsters are a few of the more recognizable creatures and fisheries that will be affected.

Professor George Buckley will discuss this environmental issue and look at mollusks as well as healthy coral reefs and some very important micro forms of marine life known as Coccolithophores.

George Buckley holding horseshoe crab

George Buckley

George Buckley is the Assistant Director of Sustainability Programs at the Harvard University Extension School where he teaches Environmental Management, Ocean Ecosystems and Transitioning into a Sustainable Future. His field work has included studies on endangered fresh water clams, land snails, horseshoe crabs and bay and island ecology from Boston Harbor, to Cape Cod’s Pleasant Bay to the fresh water rivers in the South Eastern US to the Florida Everglades and Florida Keys to Bonaire, Puerto Rico and Tobago in the Caribbean and to Borneo and the Great Barrier Reef in the Pacific. He has served as chief scientist on some two dozen Earthwatch Expeditions, and as a Board member and Advisor for many environmental organizations. His extensive environmental work on the Dutch island of Bonaire has been widely recognized. His most recent film about Bonaire won the “Palme d’Or Award’ in Marseilles.

He has earned the US EPA “Lifetime Achievement Award”, the Beneath the Sea Diver of the Year’ award as well as numerous other recognitions.

This event is co-sponsored by

Plum Island Photography Exhibit
Parker River Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center Auditorium
Now through the end of June
The Beauty of Change
Photographs of Plum Island by Sandy Tilton

A total of 19 nature photos, taken by local photographer Sandy Tilton over the past two years, are on display at Parker River Wildlife Refuge. They were all taken on Plum Island and explore the beauty of the natural changes that take place on a beach every day.

This exhibit is sponsored by Storm Surge.

Sandy Tilton grew up in Ipswich and loved walking and photographing the local beaches. The colors, shifting sands and changing tides always fascinated her. After living away from this area for over 20 years, she is thrilled to have returned. She has spent much time on the local beaches, and loves Plum Island – north, south & center.

Storm Surge is grateful for the support of its educational programming provided by our sponsors:
Noah’s Ark

Life Boat

Past Storm Surge presentations:
Note: Underlined dates are links to youtube videos of the presentation.
Spring 2017
Rob Young, Holding the Line: Is It Our Nation Sea Level Rise Policy?, 29 March 2017
Fall 2016
Mike Johnson, Coastal Ecosystems: Our Best Shoreline Protection, 7 December 2016
Peter Traykovski, Fun Science – Using Drones and Robotic Boats to Study Coastlines, 2 November 2016
Spring 2016
Irene Watts, How the 1800’s Jetties Affected the Merrimack River Inlet, 8 June 2016
Planning Directors Gregg Cademartori (Gloucester) and Rick Taintor (Portsmouth), Water on the Waterfront: How Portsmouth & Gloucester Face the Future, 25 April 2016
Fall 2015
Plum Island: A Night at the Movies, 2 December 2015
Kerry Emanuel, Massachusetts Hurricane Risk in a Changing Climate, 4 November 2015
Dennis Hubbard, Plum Island, Lessons from Nature, 21 October 2015
Spring 2015
Essex Tech HS 2015 Environmental Science Class, Coastal Resilience of the North Shore, 29 April 2015
Nathalie Miebach, Storms, Gales and Blizzards — Exploring the Poetry of New England Weather Data through Sculpture and Music, 14 March 2015
Storm Surge Art Exhibition, 6-28 March 6-28 2015
Fall 2014
Erica Spanger-Siegfried, Encroaching Tides: How Sea Level Rise & Tidal Flooding Threaten East Coast Communities over the Next 30 Years, 19 November 2014
Storm Surge at the Firehouse, The Next Storm: Understand the Risks and Be Prepared, 29 October 2014
Peter Phippen, Reducing Community Risk through Enhancing Comprehensive Community Resiliency in the Great Marsh, 1 October 2014
Spring 2014
Jim O’Connell, The Pros & Cons of Coastal Erosion Control: Does Anything Really Work? 18 June 2014
Anamarija Frankić, Using Oysters to Protect Towns and Cities From Sea Level Rise 4 June 2014
Kirk Bosma, Preparing for Sea Level Rise, 21 May 2014
Shored Up, documentary film (link to trailer only). 7 May 2014
Wendi Goldsmith, Anticipating the Future: Investing Now to Prepare for Climate Impacts, 16 April 2014
Fall 2013
Dr. Paul Kirshen, Preparing for Coastal Climate Change: How Do We Assess Vulnerability & Plan to Adapt?, 16 December 2013
Ocean Frontiers II, film and discussion, 2 December 2013
John Anderson, Changing Our Conversations about Our Changing World, 18 November 2013
Dr. Rob Thieler, Changing Climate, Changing Coasts, 4 November 2013
Dr. Cameron Wake, Climate Change in New England: Past, Present and Future, 21 October 2013
Bill Sargent, Sea Level Rise: The Plum Island Story, 9 October 2013
Storm Surge was formed in 2013 by a group of concerned citizens to encourage and support our communities to prepare for the impacts of sea level rise, extreme weather events and other effects of long-term climate change. Read The Daily News article about our formal launch on September 19, 2013.

Storm Surge exists to educate the public about climate change, and to encourage the region’s eight towns and cities to prepare long-term plans for the mitigation of sea level rise, through working with nature.

Geographic Scope: The following coastal and the tidal communities of the Merrimack River system that stand to be affected by higher storm surge from storms that are expected to increase in intensity in the coming years:
Amesbury Newburyport
Ipswich Rowley
Merrimac Salisbury
Newbury West Newbury
Visit Our Website
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Copyright © 2017 Storm Surge: The Merrimack Valley Coastal Adaption Workgroup, All rights reserved.

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Posted by: coastlinesproject | April 25, 2017

Horseshoe Crabs, Sylvia Earle.

Horseshoe Crabs


When I first met a horseshoe crab, technically Limulus polyphemus, on a New Jersey beach many decades ago, my 3-year-old mind sympathized with what appeared to be the animal’s struggle to find water. I picked it up and returned it to the sea, then realized there were more, dozens, apparently stranded and in need of my assistance. Fortunately for them, my mother intervened, explaining that they needed to come high on the beach to lay their eggs and that — much like sea turtles — on the next very high tide, baby horseshoe crabs would emerge from buried eggs and be released into the sea.

By the light of the full moon in May, as oblivious to humans as most humans are to them, legions of wondrous, glossy-brown horseshoe crabs will be emerging from the sea within sight of New York skyscrapers and on a few special sandy beaches from Maine to Yucatán, repeating their ancient rhythms of regeneration. Females the size of half a soccer ball, with slightly smaller attendant males, will take advantage of higher-than-usual tides to lay millions of jade-green eggs in moist sand, much as their ancestors are likely to have done for hundreds of millions of years.

Icons of antiquity, with fossil relatives dating back nearly 500 million years, they are one of only four species that hold the genetic codes for an entire class of organisms, the class Merostomata, a category of life comparable to the class Insecta, with at least a million individual species.

The current populations of Limulus must overcome extraordinary challenges if they are to continue to make a place for themselves in a rapidly changing world. In the past century, horseshoe crab nurseries have largely been displaced by the many ways people have transformed coastal beaches and marshes with landfills, sea walls and marinas.

Loss of critical habitat tops the list of concerns, but human predation is a close second. Although not targeted as food by American consumers (after all, they are related to spiders and scorpions and have astonishingly blue, copper-infused blood), the rare Asian species are prized as a tasty specialty in certain markets. Horseshoe crabs are valued for use in certain medical tests, and for this thousands are gathered and their blood collected before they are released. Many more thousands of females are taken by the truckload to be quartered for bait to attract eels and conchs that are mostly destined for export.

Numerous sea birds owe their prosperity to the seasonal appearance of horseshoe crab eggs, a vital source of sustenance at a midway point for migrations from South America to Arctic nesting sites. Concern for declining populations of at least nine species of egg-eating birds, especially the red knot, motivated lawmakers in several states to enact protective measures, mostly aimed at limiting the number of horseshoe crabs that can be taken, for the birds’ sake. But what about the fate of the horseshoe crabs themselves? In the past century their numbers have declined sharply, a trend that puts them in the company of much of the natural world, from coral reefs and blue fin tuna to pangolins and pandas.

Species come and species go, but never since a mighty asteroid struck the earth has the magnitude of loss come close to what is now occurring to the only place in the universe that is just right for horseshoe crabs — and humankind.

We have a chance to shift from the present trend of consuming wild places and wildlife for shortsighted short-term use to an era where our actions are aimed like a laser at securing an enduring place for ourselves within the natural systems that make our lives possible. With care, in the next million years or so, horseshoe crabs and human beings may still be sharing space on earth.

Sylvia Earle is an oceanographer and president of the nonprofit environmental group Mission Blue.

Posted by: coastlinesproject | April 24, 2017

Ben Sargent’s new show Backyard Goldmine tonight at 10pm.

Posted by: coastlinesproject | April 24, 2017

March for Science, signs are troubling.

Posted by: coastlinesproject | April 23, 2017

Trump touts science how can he get away with it?

Posted by: coastlinesproject | April 22, 2017

Science for the People, April 22nd march.

Posted by: coastlinesproject | April 21, 2017

The march for science could backfire.





Read more in William Sargent’s new book, Plum Island 2016 is available in local bookstores, and through


Posted by: coastlinesproject | April 20, 2017

Some in China critical of North Korea.

Posted by: coastlinesproject | April 18, 2017

Giant shipworm, the unicorn of mollusks discovered in the Philippines.

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