MAURICE RIVER TOWNSHIP, New Jersey – Rising seas and erosion are threatening headlights around the US and the world. Volunteers and money-related governments do what they can, but the level of concern, like water, is increasing.
The East Point Lighthouse in New Jersey illuminates Delaware Bay for the greater part of two centuries. But those same leads that the lighthouse helped illuminate can lead to his death.
With even a moderate adjustment, which is likely to cost $ 3 million or more, New Jersey officials are considering what to do to save the lighthouse. Nancy Patterson, president of the Maurice River Historical Society, says something has to be done now.
State and local authorities routinely reside on the perimeter of the lighthouse with 3000 pounds of sand and roughly carved earth walls. Under normal conditions, the bay is about 40 yards from the lighthouse; aerial photographs of 1940 show at least four times the beach between the lighthouse and the bay as now.
And during storms the surf falls on an annular wall only 10 yards from the front steps of the lighthouse.
"This lighthouse is in incredible danger, it is getting worse and worse," Patterson said. "The water is there, often at the feet of the lighthouse.
It has recently led to the rescue of the lighthouse to pay attention to its situation and to make the State Department of Environmental Protection do something to save it before falling into the bay.
This is a threat to the headlights in the country and the world, including those in low-lying areas that are overwhelmed by water, as well as those on bluffs or rocks that are being destroyed by storms and rising sea levels.
"It's happening faster than anyone has predicted," said Jeff Galleys, executive director of the American Society of Light Technology in Hensville, Washington.
While some of the headlamps continue to rely on navigation, others have been replaced by more advanced technologies and are valued more for historical and tourist purposes.
Climate change is aggravated by man-made greenhouse gases, not just melting polar ice, which increases sea levels, but warmer waters are widening and some earth formations are sinking.
Worldwide, sea levels have increased in the last century, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the percentage has increased over the last decades. In New Jersey, seas have increased by 1.3 feet over the past 100 years, says Benjamin Horton, a professor at Rutgers University, and lead expert on climate change and sea-level rise. This is a faster pace than in the past 2,000 years, he said.
Horton and other Rutgers researchers say that by 2050, the New Jersey Sea will rise by another 1.4 feet.
Tim Harrison is editor of Lighthouse Digest, a Maine-based publication that maintains a "list of fates" of 53 lighthouses around the United States that are believed to be at risk of losing due to storms, erosion, or other causes.
"Headlights are built for one purpose: to save lives," he said. "It's our turn to strengthen the rescue of these headlights.
Rising seas have already forced the relocation of several lighthouses. In 1999, the National Park Service moved Cape Hatteras Lighthouse to Buxton, North Carolina, at 2,900 feet in, at a cost of $ 11.8 million. In 1993, the southeastern lighthouse on Bloch Island, Rhode Island, was moved about 300 feet in.
In 2014, the nose of Cape Blas was moved from the end of a storm peninsula to the Gulf Coast in Florida to a park in Port St. Joe. A year later, the gay headlight torch in Martha Massachusetts's vineyards was moved 129 feet behind the eroding rock.
Others were not so happy. The lighthouse of the Galveston Jet in Texas and the Sabine Bank Lighthouse in Louisiana were lost by storms or rising seas, and the Kauholah Lighthouse on the Big Island in Hawaii was destroyed after erosion in the area was considered too heavy to save him, said Harrison.
Sea houses in the country believed to be at risk of rising seas include Lighthouse Sand Island at the Mobile Bay of Alabama, Morris Island Lighthouse near Charleston, South Carolina, and Lighthouse New Point Comfort in Virginia.
Around the world, the invading seas are approaching the Orford Lighthouse in Suffolk, England; Truubridge Island in South Australia; and Keisear lighthouse in Estonia. In 2010, the half Moon Caye lighthouse in Belize was destroyed by a storm.
There are some easy answers, either financially or scientifically. The East Point lighthouse is now at the highest convex land around, just a few centimeters above sea level, so movement is not an option. Neither does he ever eject and eagle more sand in front of him.
Patterson wants a barrier or barrier rising between the bay and the lighthouse to wipe out the power of the waves.
Larry Hain, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Environmental Department, admits that the lighthouse was "very vulnerable to storms due to erosion" for years. And he realizes that the sand sheets that the state and local governments continue to lean on the coastline are at best a stopping measure.
But as he affirms the state's interest in rescuing the lighthouse, he notes that moving or protecting it from rock-filled cells can cost several million dollars.
Because of the high cost of relocating or protecting the headlights, volunteer conservation groups often partner with governments to support them; one person has spent at least $ 5 million on Morris Island Lighthouse in South Carolina. And governments loaded with money often can not spend money to save the headlights.
Patterson, a New Jersey lighthouse attorney, says a barrier should be built right up to East Point Lighthouse.
"This story matters," she said. "We have to do something – now – while there is something else to save."
Earth's greenhouse gases are 41% higher than 1990