New video highlights how healthy shorelines can adjust to rising seas, protecting habitat and property.
Sea level rise and climate change: they’re what coastal communities around the globe are increasingly talking about and feeling the impacts of. Forward-thinking individuals and governments are taking steps to prepare.
In San Juan County, the most likely impacts associated with sea level rise are higher water levels, high tides and increased frequency and magnitude of coastal flooding and erosion events. Many places in the San Juans, especially low lying shoreline roads, are already impacted by coastal erosion and flooding.
Beach habitat for recreation, shellfish and forage fish spawning will also be lost in a process known as the “coastal squeeze” – when hard armoring prevents the beach from naturally adjusting landward in response to rising seas, causing the beach to be under water even at lower tides.
Friends of the San Juans’ new video called “Planning for the Future: Benefits of Restoration” documents the approach one family took when undertaking a major redevelopment of their property.
“When we were looking at our options for redeveloping our property, one of the things we took into account was sea level rise. We wanted to get rid of the big seawall and make sure both the house and beach would be around in 100 years. By moving the house back, we were able to restore the beach for now and the future,” said John and Maia Vechey, who are spotlighted in the new video.
This beach restoration project was funded by the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board and the private landowner.
To view the video and for more for information, visit the Friends of the San Juans website.
“Everyone can play a proactive role addressing the projected increases in erosion and flood hazards—whether as individuals or as a community in terms of public infrastructure and the siting of new development. How we adapt will impact how our shorelines look and function for generations to come,” said Tina Whitman, Friends’ Science Director.