Friday, March 19, 2010

Moving right along

I'm snuggled down with my friend, Mr. Moe's vodka, and some ginger ale. From where did I get that combo? Hmmmmm, think it came from someone I once knew, a little.

My dad is loaning me, indefinitely, one of his laptop computers (the newer one). I'll be glad to be back to semi-normalcy. But thanks to someone I think I'm not supposed to mention here and to Mr. T, who has been advising me (although the news has been mostly bad).

Which brings me to my electrical problem. I mean I have a problem with electricity. As in, I think I mentioned before that I seem to have an excess of electricity in my body. As in, I can walk under a street light and it goes off.

I'm not saying I'm special; a friend told me a while back that her husband has the same "problem" and he blows out computers. Kerplunk.

Which makes me think - I wish that electricity could fix the beach, but I don't think anything is going to fix the beach. In all honesty, when state Sen. Bruce Tarr, co-chair of the Merrimack River Beach Alliance, said in today's meeting that the erosion south of the "groin" took them by surprise ... well, the ocean is a strange and mysterious body (not unlike the person who introduced me to vodka and ginger ale).

Apparently there's another storm coming, later next week. Channel 7 had a long report on Plum Island on the 5 p.m. news and they showed at least a part of today's meeting. And while you're trying to figure out if I'm making sense, check out this report on Tuesday night's NBC Nightly News segment Fleecing of America. It's about beach fill, or nourishment.


macsurf said...

Gillian, Plum Island is toast.

If there is another significant nor'easter next week, some of those houses I saw in pictures on line from the NDN, will be GONE.

The worst of it may be 20 or 30 years away, but with rapid Arctic glacial melts, rising sea levels, increasing ocean temps, and increasingly powerful storm cycles - Plum Island is done.

Anybody who's smart with property out there, would sell and get out now.

As the word spreads, property values are just going to go down, down, down.

You'd have to be stupid to spend in the six figures, or more, to buy on PI now - totally stupid.

It's ALWAYS been a fragile barrier island, ALWAYS, but over building, climate change, and rising sea levels have transformed it into a doomed island - no matter what Bruce Tarr, John Kerry, or the Army Corps of Engineers say.

So, pour yourself a double shot of vodka and go light on the ginger ale.

Plum Island's days are numbered.

Anonymous said...


You're probably correct: nothing is going to save the beach on PI, certainly not in its current geographic context. The 'surprise' erosion south of the groin disproves the theory that the jetties are to blame; I have a sneaking suspicion that if someone were to walk the southern beach on a regular basis they'd notice changes that have not been reported.

There's also the fact that the more jagged the shoreline becomes the longer the linear shoreline becomes, which means that for a given stretch of beach the erosive forces increase. 500 feet of straight beach is exposed to X amount of force, 500 feet of beach that meanders and has gouges taken out of it or dunes missing is really exposing MORE than 500 feet of frontage to the ocean, leading to stronger erosive forces on that stretch of sand.

Look, people were told 'Hey, your property is now worth $XXX'. Nobody out there wants to give back that perceived gain *even though it's not real until they sell*. I don't blame them for fighting for their homes but there needs to be an element of realism.

I would advocate putting a building ban in place on the island, up to and including banning the replacement of homes that are destroyed *for any reason*. Repairs would be fine, but I wouldn't issue any building permits for expansion, improvements over a certain size, etc. It's probably time to gently and slowly depopulate the island.

Mac's right: due to climate change we're facing a rise in the sea level of at least 7 feet. No matter what the jackasses on talk radio say about Al Gore the predicted changes are coming twice as fast as the models predict. Plum Island is probably going to disappear within your lifetime (and certainly within mine, seeing as I'm a radical life-extension enthusiast).

- The Carrot