K-12 Coastal Art & Poetry Contest – California Coastal Commission

California Coastal Commission logo (by Fluffy89502, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons).

This annual Art and Poetry Contest is open to all California residents in grades K-12 (excluding families of Coastal Commission staff).
All entries must be uploaded by 5:00 p, California time, on January 31, 2023.
See full Contest Guidelines in English and Spanish, on the Coastal Commission Website…Best Wishes to ALL!

United Nations Environmental Programme

COP27 (by Kiara Worth, UNclimatechange CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 via Flickr).

UNEP’s “Adaptation Gap Report 2022: Too Little, Too Slow – Climate adaptation failure puts world at risk” finds that the world must urgently increase efforts to adapt to these impacts of climate change.

This artist gets up to her neck in water to spread awareness of climate change – NPR

View out to Sea, Portugal © 2015 Deepika Shrestha Ross

Sarah Cameron Sunde, an interdisciplinary artist, was visiting Maine in 2013…The tides struck her as the perfect metaphor for sea level rise…Three days later… she returned… for a “durational performance.” Sunde began standing at the edge of the water at low tide, and, in front of other artists from the retreat she had been attending, she continued to stand until the water rose up to her neck. She stayed until the next low tide, nearly 13 hours total.

North Topsail is getting millions for beach nourishment. How long will the sand last? – Star News Online

Unspoiled Beach of North Topsail Island, 2018 (by Michael Au CC BY 2.0 via Flickr).

Last month North Carolina doled out nearly $20 million in grants to help coastal communities better fortify and rebuild beach infrastructure battered by recent hurricanes, tropical storms, and nor’easters.

“Coastal communities are facing more severe impacts from storms and flooding that require a greater investment in a resilient coastline,” Gov. Roy Cooper said in announcing the awards. “Working with local governments to invest in smart storm damage repairs will help combat the effects of climate change and ensure that North Carolina’s coast remains a beautiful place to live, work, and visit.”

But in a world where climate change is bringing higher seas and more frequent and ferocious storms to our shores, is investing taxpayer dollars in the sand that’s all but guaranteed to have a limited lifespan on the beach a smart investment?

Shifting Sands: Carolina’s Outer Banks Face a Precarious Future – Yale Environment 360

Flooding caused by Hurricane Arthur on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, July 4, 2014 (by Petty Officer 3rd Class David Weydert CC BY-NC-ND 2.0via Flickr).

Cottages have been tumbling into the ocean for as long as humans have been building along the Outer Banks. The difference now is that they appear to be falling in at a faster rate, and scores of homes are now at risk. 

Areas of the Outer Banks have retreated over 200 feet in the last two decades and are currently losing about 13 feet a year.

Despite these risks, developers continue to add billions of dollars of real estate, from Corolla in the north to Ocracoke Village in the south, making the Outer Banks the fastest-growing section of the North Carolina coast. Property values have also soared to at an all-time high. Dare County, which includes thousands of beach homes, recently valued all of its property at nearly $18 billion. While the value of ocean property in smaller Currituck County has ballooned to almost $5 billion.

“It’s as if no one cares,” says Danny Couch, a Dare County Commissioner, real estate agent and sometimes tour guide. “A lot of people have so much money they don’t care about the risk.”

In the last decade alone, DOT has spent nearly $80 million dollars to keep hazard-prone NC 12 open for the year-round residents of the lower Outer Banks. That includes rebuilding the S-Curves three different times, but doesn’t include the cost of three new bridges needed to traverse inlets opened by storms or to bypass the rapidly eroding shoreline. Together, the bridges push the cost of maintaining NC 12 to about a half-billion dollars.