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Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Twelve Trees

When we arrived at the end of the boardwalk one day this week, we noticed a man coming out of the trees along the shoreline, past the trail. "There's a lot of erosion along there this winter," he said, pointing along the shoreline beyond the boardwalk. "In that short stretch, there are twelve trees which have fallen onto the beach." 



Looking at the area, the damage was obvious. The red soil, typical of the island, was visible along the shore. Trees had collapsed onto the beach from above. The shoreline which extends the length of the boardwalk into the city, is lined with armour stone, which has reduced erosion.



You can see the difference in erosion from the rock-lined shore to the exposed coastline. We have lost at least a meter, (3 feet) of coastline in this area.



The provincial government estimates that we lose from .3 to 1.5 meters, (1 to 5 feet) of coastline annually. It appears that we are in the upper range of that estimate in this area of the shoreline. The rate if erosion is alarming. 

In Summerside, Prince Edward Island, we rely on groundwater for our water supply. 




Our little city is on a small stretch of land between Northumberland Strait in the south and the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the north. Erosion can cause intrusions of salt water into the water table. 




Two wells have been lost to salt water already. Erosion poses a threat to our water supply. The armour stone has helped prevent further salt water intrusion into the water table as well.

Our island is very flat. Models showing the effects of rising sea levels due to global warming show our island submerged. While we will not live to see this happen, this island is home to our granddaughters. What are we leaving for them? It is frightening to consider.

20 comments:

  1. It is indeed frightening. Climate change is real and is happening worldwide, with islands like yours taking the brunt of the early effects. It gives me such a feeling of helplessness. :-(

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    1. There has to be the political will to work on the problem and listen to the scientists.

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  2. Climate change, or as it used to be known and is probably a more accurate name, global warming, is a frightening concept, and the whole world has to wake up and do something positive to stop it.... but like many people, I have no idea what can be done.

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    1. There are people who can lead us through this crisis but I don't know if we are ready to listen.

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  3. I think the climate change models show Vancouver under water too. Agreed, scary stuff.

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    1. Scary is right! Imagine the migrants within our own country.

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  4. I do not believe in global warming, which the name had to be changed to climate change because many places are not warming but becoming colder. Our area has been cold and set records from 100 years ago in coldness. I believe in millions of years there has been many changes in the earth and you cannot look at even 100 years to view what is happening. It is very naïve to think we can change the earth that God made. It is only a ploy of governments to control our actions and take away our freedoms. Many people here do not believe in climate change. Andrea

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    1. Thank you for your comment, Andrea. I love this forum. People with varying opinions can express them. I think it is important to see how others view an issue, even if it different from our own.

      For me, the issue of global warming is about science. I think my first degree in science, though it was years ago, has informed much of my life. I would not trust a politician who did not take tested science into account in his/her decisions for Canada.

      While we disagree on this issue, we are fortunate that we live in a part of the world where people can disagree on issues and express them without fear.

      If global warming is due to people-created environmental changes, my grandchildren are inheriting a world with terrible problems that we have created. The world as we have been blessed to know it will not exist for them. If we don't work to limit the earth warming to less than 1.5 degrees C, many islands in the South Pacific and low lying countries, like Bangladesh, will cease to exist, including this Canadian island of Prince Edward. The refugee crisis we see today will be nothing compared to what will be if the polar ice caps continue to melt at such an alarming rate.

      If the effects are due to climate change which is a natural phenomenon, then what is the solution to stemming that change so as to prevent catastrophe? Is it inevitable? Do we wait for God to fix it? Do we sit back and do nothing?

      God helps those who help themselves. I think she would expect us to do something. She has certainly shown us the way.

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  5. It is a beautiful place and let us hope it remains so. Your neighbours to the south can't be helping global warming much or perhaps they are helping global warming.

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    1. A sick earth is dangerous for all of us!

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  6. Very frightening indeed and your granddaughters may have to migrate as did my ancestors who left Zeeland.

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    1. I agree. They won't be able to live here.

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  7. We have areas here where this has happened too!

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    1. Erosion is a huge problem. We are just seeing the beginning of it now.

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  8. It is certainly scary and so sad to lose what we may never be able to get back.

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  9. Don't even get me started, Marie, because YES, this is very frightening...and disturbing. I do pray we have time to reverse some of these effects, before our grandchildren have their own grandchildren. (sigh)

    In the meantime, several years back, when we had the good fortune to visit Vancouver Island, I remember all the lumber on the beaches that, I believe, was there because of falling loose from the logjams going by? I still have visions of all that wood!

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    1. Let us hope that science will prevail!

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  10. You do seem to have cause for concern. The world has been slow to react to the problem.

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