Lost Lands Photographic Study
Joe Clark, Photographer
Start of study: 2022
End of study: ongoing
Lost Lands is a study on coastal lands bordering the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico which are forecasted to be lost due to sea level rise. This study will also encompass the peoples and cultures which will be affected by the lost of this land. We will examine the affects of the near future forecast of 1 to 2 feet of rise in the next 30 years and the long range forecast of up to 7 feet of rise by the year 2100. (NOAA, 2022 Sea Level Rise Technical Report, 2022). Areas such as the Fl keys have an average elevation above sea-level of less than 5 feet (Monroe County Sustainability & Climate Change website) and with the predicted rise in oceans will become predominately flooded, as will many of the other barrier islands and coastal areas along the Florida and Gulf Coast (NOAA Sea Level Rise Viewer). The intent of the Lost Lands Photographic Study is to document the places and people who will be most affected by the rise of sea level and to preserve these memories into the future in the event that we as a society are unable to preserve these lands.
As of the current draft of this project we are intending to focus on the following areas as they appear to be the most sustainable to the 2050 forecasted rise of sea level (NOAA Sea Level Rise Viewer with 2 foot water level rise over MHHW (local Mean Higher High Water Datum)).
1. Flordia Keys, barrier islands, and everglades.
Flordia contains a significant amount of coastline and areas which are going to be impacted by any amount of sea level rise. These areas are susceptible to flooding as the sea level rises due to their low elevation. There are many people who will be displaced particularly from areas such as Key West. Portions of the Everglades will also become flooded with salt water and will undoubtedly cause significant impact to the local ecosystem. Particular areas which will be focused on will be Monroe County Keys, southwestern everglades, and the Pine Island sound and Charlotte Harbor region.
2. Mississippi Delta areas.
The majority of the delta south of New Orleans is at risk of becoming flooded. This will likely cause changes to the livelihood of the people and possible consequences to the so called “dead zone”.
3. Chesapeake Bay region including Tangier Island.
The region in and around Chesapeake Bay are at risk of becoming lost with 2 foot sea rise. This includes Tangiew Island which has been relatively isolated since the colonial days. The isolation has caused this area to become known for their particular dialect which many researchers believe is the closest to the colonial era’s accent and dialect. The island is forecasted to be nearly completely lost to the ocean.
4. Cape Cod including the town of Provicetown.
Cape Cod, while not as affected as other potions of our study will provide a great contrast for our study. It is assumed (citation needed) that the region is comprised of wealthier persons who have other options. However there will be significant impact to the region by the year of 2100 and even sooner with higher tides and storm surges. Provincetown which is known as a cultural center and as “the gayest town in the USA” is at risk of significant impact.
5. Pamlico Sound, North Carolina.
The areas around Pamlico Sound comprise the barrier islands including Kitty Hawk, NC where the Wright Brothers accomplished the first controlled flight of an aircraft and the inland areas will experience significant flooding and impacts from the rise of the oceans, even by 2050. This area is well worth exploring.
The method of exploration will be as emission free as possible. We will travel aboard a private sailing vessel SV Animaashi, a 38 foot Endeavour purpose built for coastal cruising. Animaashi has been equipped with enough solar panels to be energy independent and to meet the needs of her crew. Auxiliary power is provided by a diesel motor and is only typically used when necessary.
This document will be updated as the project evolves and becomes more defined.
National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2022 Sea Level Rise Technical Report, 2022,https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/hazards/sealevelrise/sealevelrise-tech-report.html#step1 . Accessed 24 May 2023.
Monroe County Sustainability & Climate Change website, http://greenkeys.info/intro-policy-outreach/ . Accessed 24 May 2023.
National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Sea Level Rise Viewer, https://coast.noaa.gov/slr/#/layer/slr . Accessed May of 2023.