Posted by: coastlinesproject | February 27, 2017

NH Lake tragedy due to global warming weather.

Posted by: coastlinesproject | February 25, 2017

Cape Cod, Jeep pulled out of eroding dune.

Posted by: coastlinesproject | February 24, 2017

Florida, Cayo Costa.

Chapter 30

Cayo Costa, Florida

February 21, 2017



By mid-February I was more than sick of Northeasters so I decided to fly to Florida to see how it will fare in this new era of rising seas and stronger more frequent storms. My informant for these explorations would be John Martin an old friend from high school who now lived in Punta Gorda, near Fort Meyers.


Our trip started out on Cayo Costa, a barrier beach island on Florida’s West Coast. My family has a longstanding relationship with this island. My father had brought me to the island thirty years before, and when we found the scale of a tarpon with his father’s initials on it in a nearby bar he remembered that my grandmother had been especially ticked that day because my grandfather had spent the day on Useppa Island with his fishing buddies and had returned several sheets to windward. Those were in the days when you went down to Boca Grande by train and stayed for the full season at the gracious Gasparilla Inn.


Unlike nearby Sanibel and Captiva islands no bridge or revetments had ever been built on Cayo Costa. This had left the island able to fulfill its function as a natural barrier against major storms, so people could live safely behind the barrier beaches as the Callussa Indians had done hundreds of years before. The lack of houses and infrastructure made it easier for Florida to make the island into a state park in 1971.


The wisdom of that effort had been tested when Hurricane Charley arrived on August 13, 2004. After passing over Key West, Charley as a Category 3 hurricane it had suddenly turned Northeast and increased to a category 5 hurricane before sweeping over Cayo Costa and on into Punta Gorda area where it caused $15 billion in damages and left hundreds of people living in FEMA trailers years after the storm had passed.


But Cayo Costa looked much as I remembered it 30 years before, and probably much like it looked five hundred years before that. Tendrils of fog lifted slowly along its nine miles of powdery white beaches. The Australian pine trees I remembered towering over the island had all been snapped in two. Park rangers had been vainly trying to remove the invasive trees with chain saws before Charley had done the deed for them in about two minutes.


Now copses of native sea grapes were thriving in the sunlight where the pines used to be. Wild boar that used to emerge from native Palmetto palm groves to root for mole crabs on the tidal flats and feral horses that used to nuzzle visiting boaters seemed to be gone. But alligators still lurked in the shallow lagoon just behind the swimming beach and the productive waters of the Gulf of Mexico still produced billions of shells that washed up on the deceptively quiet beaches of Cayo Costa – deceptive because they still remained ready to absorb the powers of the next hurricane. They reflected the benefit of leaving a barrier beach in its natural state to stave off future storms. And the best way to do that was to make it into a public park.


And now the park was thriving. Every day hundreds of visitors arrived in their own boats or by small ferries and would walk or be driven by volunteers in modified golf carts across the island. There they could spread out along a seven-mile long pristine beach on the Gulf of Mexico.


If you looked carefully you could see where the beach was slightly eroding, and where it had moved inland during hurricane Charlie. But you never read anything about it because no houses or streets had washed away. Now the island just remains as a pristine natural barrier island, ready to protect the mainland from the next Hurricane Charlie.


We hoped to compare Cayo Costa to a built up barrier beach on the hurricane prone Atlantic Coast of Florida. We scrutinized the map and found the perfect location 200 miles directly east. It happened to be Mar-a-Lago, President Trump’s winter white house on tony Palm Beach. We wondered if two old geezers could get in.


Posted by: coastlinesproject | February 23, 2017

Turks dolphin report

Such A happy Dolphin!
Hi All, Both ospreys are in their nest as we leave the marina. That I hope is a good sign however the wind is pretty strong as we go out the channel. It’s wavy and windy out front. We go up and down past the resorts then out past the reef. The water is fairly rough everywhere. The color by Beaches is a magnificent turquoise as always. We go for a quick snorkel. After another look past the reef there is a big bank of clouds heading our way. John decides to make one more trip to Pine Cay. As we get opposite the Meridian Club, John sees a dorsal! Kristen only spends about ten days a year here and she’s thrilled to hopefully get another swim with the dolphins! Bo and Whizzer turn toward Spy Hop. JoJo isn’t there so we will see if they’ll swim with Kristen without his help. I believe they will because we spent so long with them the other day. Bo also swam beside her for a little bit. ITs murky and the visibility is very bad. They will have to stay near me for me to see them-no problem there! Whizzer is all about playing. I lose sight of them and they come back to find me. The tour boats start seeing the activity. They are looking for something to show the tourists because the weather has curtailed their usual activities. Pretty soon there are about seven boats circling us. Bo goes down and blows a big warning bubble. Does she wish they’d back off? Was she warning whizzer and I to be careful? Some of these captains come so close that when they leave the propellor creates so many bubbles I can’t see where the dolphins are. Whizzer spy hops to see where I am. The dolphins, come back and circle me. Whizzer dives deep and brings up some weed on his rostrum. He blows some big bubbles aimed at me! He starts diving deep then racing up toward me then porpoising way out of the water! The boats have now left they missed the last show!
I invite Kristen in now that the tour boats have gone. Whizzer wants to follow her around to check her out! He comes back to me and starts to play and display! Down he goes he’s found something intriguing on the bottom. He comes to the surface with a sand dollar in his mouth! He drops it, I grab it and give it back! What fun he’s having with all the toys nature is providing! I am now freezing and a bit nauseous from looking into the murky water. I start to leave the dolphins and Kristen to go back to the boat. The dolphins change direction to follow me. All I can think about is how I will miss them when I have to go home. Sand dollar video to come!

Posted by: coastlinesproject | February 15, 2017

Plum Island, site visit and public meeting on dune restoration.

You’re invited!


Newburyport Dune Restoration and Beach Access Improvement Project

The City of Newburyport invites you to attend a public meeting and site visit to learn how

efforts to restore dunes on Plum Island will help slow erosion, reduce the risk of flooding, protect the beach itself, and improve beach access for residents and visitors. Some work has already been completed, and more work is planned! This is your opportunity to provide input, ask questions, and make sure your voice is heard as we work together to reduce community vulnerability to coastal hazards while maintaining beach access for all.


Thursday, March 02, 2017 PITA Hall
8 Plum Island Turnpike 6:30-8:00pm

6:30 Welcome
6:35 Municipal Perspective on Plum Island

Erosion & Dune Restoration Julia Godtfredsen, City of Newburyport

6:40 Overview of Dune Restoration & Beach Access Project Taj Schottland,

NWF and Gregg Moore, UNH

7:00 Review & Status of Completed Work Darryl Forgione, DCR

7:10 Group Discussion Facilitated by Taj Schottland, NWF

7:50 Wrap-up & Next Steps Julia Godtfredsen, City of Newburyport


Sunday, March 5, 2017 Plum Island Point Parking Lot 1:00-2:00PM

1:00 Gather & Introduction 1:10 Walk and Talk
2:00 Return to Parking Lot

  •   Come see the project area and learn about beach access improvements!
  •   Please dress appropriately for walking along the beach and road
  •   Additional details will be sent to confirmed attendees prior to the event

    RSVP for Site Visit
    by March 1st
    to Taj Schottland:

Questions or interested in learning more?

Contact Taj Schottland, Coastal Adaptation Specialist, National Wildlife Federation,

Funding for this project was provided by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management’s Coastal Community Resilience Grant Program

Posted by: coastlinesproject | February 15, 2017

California 2015/2016 el niño caused highest beach erosion on record.1ño-california-beach-erosion-in-201515-was-highest-ever-recorded/

Posted by: coastlinesproject | February 14, 2017

California. Oroville Dam

Posted by: coastlinesproject | February 13, 2017

Oroville California, and we think we got troubles

Posted by: coastlinesproject | February 12, 2017

Plum Island Cape Cod Coastal Flood Watch:

Posted by: coastlinesproject | February 11, 2017

Turks Humpback whale report. Salisbury Beach cam seems to be down.

A Cetacean Day
Hi All, I have been looking forward to this day because the weather forecast is perfect! Brilliant sunshine and flat water make for good sightings! We leave Leeward with a boat full of friends. On our way back from Beaches, JoJo joins us as we go past Seven Stars. He is looking for a ride to Pine Cay. Once we get there he branches but comes back to Spy Hop and stays around our boat. This is a nice opportunity for people to get in and swim with him. A few boats pull up and he visits each of them. Unfortunately, it’s Melanie’s last day on Provo and we need to bring her back to Ocean Club so she can catch her plane. JoJo doesn’t choose to accompany us so we leave him with his admirers. After dropping off Melanie, we make a quick check to see if any other dolphins have joined JoJo. He was following a boat which means he’s by himself. My other friends are real whale enthusiasts and toady is a perfect day to see them. Once over the reef we see a mother and calf. Unfortunately there are a number of other boats have seen them as well. We follow at a respectful distance but clearly the mom wanted no part of the humans. On the Silver Bank where most of these Humpback whales are headed there are only three boats allowed at a time. If you are trying to watch a mother and calf and they turn away from you three times you must leave the alone. There is actually a warden on board one of the boats that enforces these rules. Here however, I have seen a lot of pushy behavior from boats. I really think some of the whales are okay with humans getting in to swim with them however if they clearly are on the move then it’s disrespectful. We leave these whales and head toward Northwest Point. I spot something in the water that I think might be trash and we go to pick it up. As we get near, we see it’s a bird with a very long tail sitting on the water. As we turn to go it flys off showing it’s beautiful long tail. I realize it’s a Tropic Bird. They always show up at this time of year to nest and have their babies. The rest of the year they stay over the ocean.

As I’m looking out at the horizon, I see some black shapes that look like big dolphins. We have seen these before. They are actually Pilot whales. They are very shy and we don’t get very close. Just as we are thinking we should start heading back there are two big blows right near our boat! Then two big Humpbacks swim past us and keep going. We decide it’s time to head in. I’m sorry I didn’t see Bo and Whizzer but, we certainly had a great day!

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