Sunday, August 14, 2022

Play

Voting-rights groups sue AZ to block 'Election Security' Bills; U.S House vote expected today on the new Inflation Reduction Act; the Attorney General moves to release details on search of Trump s home.

Play

Local election officials detail how election misinformation is fueling threats; Media outlets ask a court to unseal the search warrant of Donald Trump's home; and the CDC changes its approach to COVID-19.

Play

Infrastructure funding is on its way, ranchers anticipate money from the Inflation Reduction Act, and rural America is becoming more diverse, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the leadership.

Living Shorelines: Natural Defense to Storms

Play

Monday, November 23, 2020   

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Back in September, as Hurricane Sally battered Florida's panhandle with a deluge of rain and high winds, some locals said their living shorelines were their best defense against the area's storm surge.

Instead of a hardened seawall aimed at protecting shores from erosion, living shorelines use vegetation and other natural elements like oyster shells to stabilize estuarine coasts, bays, and tributaries.

Josh Poole built a living shoreline around his property in Gulf Breeze to stop erosion from his beach.

Despite seeing Hurricane Sally's waves break as high as 17 feet over his boathouse, he said his shoreline stayed strong.

"I literally thought that the beach would be gone," Poole maintained. "I thought that the rocks would be gone, I thought the oyster shells would all be just washed away. And I was absolutely amazed to find that a few of the late boulders on top had been moved around maybe a few feet, I mean, literally 18 inches."

Hurricane Sally was expected to strike Alabama and Mississippi. Instead, it made a slow crawl over land in Florida's Panhandle with 105-mile-per-hour winds, ripping roofs, snapping trees, and leaving thousands without power.

Poole hopes other homeowners will consider living shorelines as a means of erosion protection.

Matt Posner, interim director of the Pensacola & Perdido Bay Estuary Program, also manages the RESTORE program for Escambia County where he oversees several large-scale public living shorelines.

One of them is Project Greenshores, a multimillion-dollar habitat protection program in downtown Pensacola, which he said was resilient through the storm.

"There is certainly a significant amount of habitat value as well," Posner contended. "Which of course is critically important for the protection of our estuaries and making sure that we have this nursery habitat to restore and protect productive recreational fishery habitat."

Posner also manages the Pensacola Bay Living Shoreline Project, which will result in the creation of 205 acres of emergent marsh and submerged aquatic vegetation when it's complete.

But he wants to see more residential properties convert to the softer nature-based solutions, which he said has the dual benefit of self-maintenance while restoring natural wildlife.

Jessica Bibza, Florida policy specialist for the National Wildlife Federation said one way to foster this is to educate the public, marine contractors, and policy leaders that living shorelines are a viable and more sustainable option. She added they initially had a training course set for last April, but they had to cancel due to the pandemic.

"There is really a need to get these marine contractors more familiar with living shorelines and with understanding the process for how to permit them and install them," Bibza urged.

Bibza noted they are now looking at providing training in a virtual setting.

She hopes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Florida's Department of Environmental Protection, and local governments will soon see the value of living shorelines and work to streamline the permit process.

Disclosure: National Wildlife Federation contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species and Wildlife, Energy Policy, Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness, Salmon Recovery, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Since the 2020 election, at least 19 states have passed 34 laws restrict­ing access to voting, according to the Brennan Center For Justice. (Orlowiski Designs/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Voting-rights advocates are suing the state of Arizona over new regulations they say make it harder for some people to register and would block thousa…


Social Issues

New Hampshire ranks second in the country on measures of child well-being, according to the new 2022 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey …

Social Issues

Massachusetts ranks first in the nation for children's well-being, according to the 2022 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation…


While there are continued disparities, an annual report says Minnesota has seen progress in elevating kids out of poverty, with 12% of children falling into that category. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Minnesota once again gets a high ranking among states for child well-being, but an annual report says the state's disparities remain a challenge…

Social Issues

Some measurements of children's well-being show warning signs in Iowa in the area of education. The numbers contrast with Iowa's overall ranking in a …

Pictured in the center is Francine "Fran" Pace, one of 11 graduates of this summer's Youth Leadership Academy for Iowans with disabilities. (Photo courtesy of DD Council).

Health and Wellness

Nearly a dozen Iowa youths with disabilities are taking newly developed leadership skills out into the world. A summer academy wrapped up this month…

Environment

A coalition of community organizations teamed up in Oregon to force a chronic polluter out of business, and bring environmental justice to a nearby …

Health and Wellness

During National Health Center Week, health-care advocates are highlighting the work Community Health Centers are doing to improve access to care …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021