Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Riprap

I'm serenaded these days by bangs and crashes just up the shore. The cottage there was recently sold, and torn down, and now the new owners are engaging what the contractor calls "shoreline erosion control" before they build their new place.

This involves riprap (I'm writing this post mostly because I love that word), the rocks and stones placed on coasts and shores to protect our houses and lawns and golf courses and roads from the ravages of water. In this case they are huge white chunks of scrap granite - that stretch of shore will look quite sporty when it's finished.

I wasn't sure why this is necessary. The houses along this shore sit up on a small bank 25 or 30 feet high, enough protection to last many years, I would have thought. We've lost less than a foot of bank in almost 18 years, for example. But when I walked past the site yesterday, I asked the contractor about it and he said the ledge there has been crumbling and could be dangerous. Let's hope that disease is not catching.

I wonder more apocalyptically if the new owners are just being super-cautious in this era of climate change. Apparently, they are from New Jersey and it doesn't take a lot of imagination to think, considering what happened to the sandy Jersey shore this past year, that they are escaping to a rocky place that needs only a little help, however loud and glaring, to be safe.

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