Thursday, March 15, 2018

2018 Coastal Geology at Edisto / Botany Bay WMA

SCDNR's Bess Kellett and Katie Luciano
Long before the creation of Botany Bay WMA in 2008, the shoreline on the northern end of Edisto Island has been undergoing changes due to environmental conditions. The Edisto Island Open Land Trust invited South Carolina Department of Natural Resources geologist Katie Luciano to address their Back To Nature event on Saturday March 10. Aerial photos leave little doubt that the shoreline is receding at Botany Bay WMA, which is a normal cycle in barrier island geomorphology.

ACE Basin map
The coastal geology lecture was held in the meeting room at the Edisto Beach State Park Environmental Learning Center. Right beside the meeting facility is the Bache Monument Trail, where a historical marker from the 1850 U.S. Coast Survey by Alexander Dallas Bache is located. Bache was the grandson of Benjamin Franklin, and supervised placing survey markers to aid accurate measurements of changing coastlines in the future. There is a series of Bache monuments on Edisto with the West End located on the State Park and the East End located on Botany Bay WMA.

Bache was Grandson of Benjamin Franklin
“Barrier Islands are very young in terms of geology,” said Luciano. “We date much of Botany Bay WMA coastline to the Holocene era which is just 11,000-years old. Shorelines can shift very rapidly, especially under the influence of hurricanes. In general, coastal geology is constantly dynamic, and sea level rise is a new factor which could accelerate erosion. We are already seeing old marsh and sand deposits being exposed on Botany Bay WMA, which can harden due to the oxidation process.” The Shoreline Change Project, creating digital shoreline datasets primarily from historical aerial imagery, is also able to utilize scientific monitoring data from the larger ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve.

To view the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view blog entries from 2018 at Edisto click on Grits Cook Off - Spring Events Calendar

To view past blog entries from the Edisto Chamber Business of the Year click on 2017 - 2016

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