November 22, 2010 in Keepers Log

Rising waters

Post placeholder image

When the lighthouse was originally built, it was an island at the edge of the navigation channel and isolated from the mainland. In 1888, bulkheads were constructed along the creek, which established a low-tide connection between the lighthouse and the shoreline. Subsequently, dredging spoils were deposited behind the bulkheads creating a narrow spit of land along which the access trail now extends. Now, the lighthouse is facing prospect of once again becoming an isolated island, cut off from the shoreline. A new Report from the state’s Sea Level Rise Task Force forecasts a three to four foot sea level rise in seventy years if melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets continues to accelerate. All shoreline communities along the tidal Hudson River will be impacted one way or another. For the lighthouse, a four-foot sea level rise would flood the basement and threaten the first floor. The dock would be submerged, and the trail would be underwater even at low tide. Last week, a two-foot storm surge last week covered the boardwalks along the trail. This will become a more common occurrence with each passing decade until the trail is completely and permanently flooded. Unless, of course, we take aggressive and immediate steps to curb emission of greenhouse gases.

By browsing this website, you agree to our privacy policy.
I Agree