Monday, July 06, 2015

Driftwood Shores

The spit extends across the mouth of Triangle Cove and is lined with homes and, of course, driftwood. They don't call it Driftwood Shores for nothing. South-facing beaches, particularly on Port Susan, where shorelines have collected north-drifting wood from the Snohomish River and from a century of log-rafting, tend to accumulate this stuff.


Somewhere back in the office I have a newspaper article describing the heroic efforts early one morning to protect this community from flooding - perhaps during the January 1983 high tide? Even if these people weren't there then, they probably remember February 2006 and December 2012. They are the benchmarks that beach communities use to mark their history.

I often hear folks these days commenting that communities like this will be doomed as sea level rises. But the reality is that these communities will persist, even as the beach that drew people here is buried beneath riprap. Unless the economics of waterfront property change drastically, we can be assured that these folks, and the folks who follow them, will be able to elevate their remodeled homes, to raise the dikes that protect them from flooding on the backside, and to stack rock as high as necessary to protect them from the sea. And because the need to rebuild will be driven by disasters "that no one could have predicted" and that private insurers have little financial interest in covering, a remarkable amount of this work may be done at public expense. This happens all the time in other places that had a head start in us!

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