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Delaware Bayshore History a Barometer for Measuring Climate Change Sea Level Rise

Where is the vision and leadership to protect the people and resources of the Bayshore Region?

NJ Spotlight ran an excellent piece today on the impacts of climate change driven sea level rise on the Delaware Bayshore region, see:

It’s not just scientists and environmentalists that know about the dangers of climate change and are sounding alarming warnings.

The excellent NJ Spotlight piece uses the East Point Lighthouse and regional historical resources as very visible indicators of the rise in sea levels, mainly attributable to climate change:

East Point Lighthouse stands about 118 feet from the high-tide line on South Jersey’s Delaware Bay shore, but it used to be much further away.

The historic structure at the mouth of the Maurice River was 460 feet from the high-water mark when it was inspected in 1908, according to the Maurice River Historical Society, which has helped to restore the lighthouse, and is keeping a careful eye on its proximity to the ocean. By 2008, the margin shrunk to 174 feet, and then to 118 feet in 2013.

It’s a shame that the highly vulnerable and ecologically and historically rich Delaware Bayshore region has been ignored by the Obama/Christie post Sandy funding blitz.

The people and local/county governments of the region have recently come together to produce a forward looking regional plan to preserve the history, culture and resources of the Bayshore and adapt to climate change threats. (see this post).

That local/regional voluntary effort has been ignored by federal and state funders, as well as the non-profit and philanthropic communities.

IF adequate resources were provided, the conditions are ripe for institutionalizing a regional planning framework along the lines of the Pinelands and Highlands and Meadowlands regions.

But where is there vision and the leadership to make that happen?

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