Mt Davidson steps
Falkirk Wheel - Falkirk Scotland
The Falkirk Wheel takes about as much energy as it would to boil about 8 kettles of water
The Move to Preserve: Shoreline Series
(Part 4 of 4)
This week, we’ve looked at examples of places where changes in the coastal environment impact the preservation of cultural landscape features. Some of these moves to preserve are immediate and closely associated with the vernacular landscape: a family relocates part of a fishing camp to preserve its livelihood. Others followed more strategic thinking and extensive planning, and occurred after the historic period: a lighthouse is moved to protect the structure from the forces of erosion.
We’ve seen how incorporating ideas of change and movement into understanding a coastal landscape in its entirety can increase stability.
So, how do we anticipate change?
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
This question leads us to explore the western shore of the continental United States and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (NRA) of San Francisco. Many potential impacts of climate change are still uncertain in the sensitive microclimates of this California region. It is likely that Golden Gate will experience:
- Coastal erosion and flooding due to rising sea level and storm severity;
- Changing wind and fog patterns;
- A more severe wildland fire season; and
- Disruptions to the plant and animal communities, leading to susceptibility to pathogens and introduction of invasive species.
The park worked with the Pacific Institute to create sea level rise exhibits, using data from the California Energy Commission and the U.S. Geological Survey. The interpretive exhibits illustrate the impacts that sea level rise could potentially have on shoreline cultural landscapes.
Stories from the Presidio and Crissy Field, Alcatraz, Fort Mason, Sutro Historic District, and others reach deep into history. Can we imagine that they are so deep they might risk being covered by water before long?
It’s true that shorelines are places of continual motion, and preserving a coastal cultural landscape requires adaptation. Exploring the interpretive climate change materials at Golden Gate while standing in the middle of an existing historic cultural landscape, a visitor might wonder:
How much do we react to change, and how much can we interact with it?
Does some portion of this movement that enables the stabilization of changing landscape occur within us?
- Visit the park website for Climate Change information, park-specific threats and responses at Golden Gate, and the role that visitors can play in supporting preservation of our coastal resources.
- Take a Google Earth Climate Change tour to see how natural and cultural resources might be impacted at eleven park locations.
- Discover more about the wide array of cultural resources on the landscapes of Golden Gate NRA at the History & Culture section of the website.
- Visit our program website to find cultural landscape profiles. (You can find eight landscapes listed under Golden Gate National Recreation Area if you use the lower drop-down bar for “Cultural Landscapes By Park.”)
- More resources for understanding climate change in national parks can be found on the NPS Climate Change subject website.
Missed any part of the series? Revisit: