Thursday, October 16, 2008


Usually lighthouses find themselves creeping towards the sea as the shoreline recedes. Edgartown's Lighthouse has done the opposite - attaching itself to the main island over time as the shoreline accreted. It was built offshore to mark a broad shoal at the mouth of the harbor, with access provided by a trestle. Eventually the trestle was turned into a causeway. Complex sediment dynamics have since filled in much of the area around the lighthouse, forming a remarkably natural looking spit and back barrier wetland. As with many spots in this region, much of the change occurred during the 1938 hurricane - showing such power can build land as well as take it away.

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