Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Impact of Rising Sea Levels on the Wildlife of Bulls Island

The changes in sea levels over the last 50 years is having a significant impact on coastal areas like Bulls Island and Cape Romain. Because the beaches are eroding so quickly, we are losing large portions of beach front each season-- and during nesting season for Loggerhead Sea Turtles, this has a detrimental impact. The refuge manager, Sarah Dawsey, and a team of volunteers relocate nests that are in danger of being flooded by changing tides.

Chris Crolley, the steward of Coastal Expeditions, has witnessed the change that has occurred on Bulls Island since he began running the ferry service to the refuge in 1994. Entire roads have washed away and areas of the island that used to be freshwater are slowly being breached by saltwater. He was interviewed for an article in last week's Post & Courier about the changes in the barrier island ecology due to rising sea levels. It's an undeniable event that Sarah Dawsey, Chris Crolley and the other stewards of Cape Romain are watching closely.

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