Monday, May 21, 2012

Last Wednesday, I joined a vanful of folks from the CT Climate Education Communication Committee for an informative and interesting day at Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford CT.  The group consisted of science experts in ecology, geology and coastal science and they came from local colleges and the Department of Environmental and Energy Protection.

We passed coyote scat while hiking out to the beach.  I think the coyote must have polished off a yeti!

The park ranger discussed her efforts to protect the threatened nesting piping plovers.  Some neighbors think the beach will be open if they get rid of the plovers.  One woman even threw the eggs onto the grass in hopes of being able to use this portion of the beach. 

In 1888, the shoreline of this park was about 100 feet farther out than it is today.  We learned that seawalls interrupt the natural flow of sand and current, but attempts to regulate them have been met by strong opposition from wealthy landowners.  For convenience people have relocated streams that flow out into the ocean.  Hurricanes have moved these outlets back where nature intended them to be.  The dirt in the foreground of the beach photo was peat covering topsoil.  As the dunes pushed back due to erosion, Hurricane Irene exposed where the plow layer used to be.

We also toured the mansion and carriage house and helped the ranger get a barn swallow out of one of the buildings.

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