Saturday, November 03, 2012

Hurricane Sandy 6

Mantoloking NJ, at the head of Barnegat Bay. Notice that many of those houses are quite old & sturdy-looking. Some have been in families for generations. They testify to the capriciousness of coastal storms. The inlet isn't a strange thing. That inlet has wandered forty miles of barrier beach just during recorded history. Left to itself it eventually fills itself in, in days or weeks or a season.  It's strange only because development has prevented it from opening up more often during lesser storms.

There's the saying, "Only Nixon could go to China."  I think it would be great if our Republican governor acknowledged climate change & raised the issue of a gradual pullback, a retreat from the edge, which is not only long overdue here but would also begin to   settle the matter of public beach access. After a major storm is the best time to deal with this. Let's stop calling beach "land." As storms destroy them, let's slowly get rid of the first line of houses, the ones directly on the beachfront. Yes, they were owned by wealthy people. That's why it takes a Republican. Although I'm generally o.k. with rebuilding amusement boardwalks & maybe piers - just do it better, it's insane to replace all the ruined structures in Sea Bright, a narrow town  barely floating  between a tidal river & the ocean, &  wouldn't even exist but for a massive sea wall & dredged sand beach treated by residents as a private playground, & which floods from nearly every coastal storm now.

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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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