Sharing the shrinking beach in East Matunuck

The beach has been almost exclusively mine since the fall. When the three other people who can make that statement have been on the beach with me, we acknowledge each other with a wave or a greeting. Today each ganglia of beach users was isolated in its own  nervous system.

The Piping plovers’ nesting area has been cordoned off in a shrinking space where a hedgerow of Rosa ragusas and poison ivy used to wall off the deep edge of the pond behind until Sandy wiped it out. The only birds I saw were Great black-backed gulls at various stages of development, but I know we’re into mating season. I can see that at my feeders.

The beach is shrunken too. High tide now comes nearly to the boundary of the Plover’s space on the western end of the beach. Moon high tides now creep under the houses on the eastern end. The last moon tide washed great plumes of good sand 40 feet into the parking lot at each of the passageways through the dunes. Of course nothing is fixed, except the trend.

A warm northern wind could not move the blades on the wind mill fast enough to obliterate their shape. But the silicon in the photo voltaic panels on the pavilion roof must have been excitedly hopping around in the presence of the sun’s  photons.  The sky was cloudless.

I read in the newspaper that those pavilion panels create $5,000 worth of power a year. Even the lesser number of panels on my folly have been creating about 30 kWs of power daily. (I hate examples that mix measurements, but I don’t know how many kilowatts are in $5,000 worth of power and I don’t know how many dollars are in 30 kWs a day of electricity. I do know that the 40 or so pV panels on the pavilion roof generates a great deal more electricity than do the 15 on my folly!)

One other parenthetical comment that I trust is apocryphal but frighteningly entertaining: I heard on the radio, I think, that an energy advisor to Trump said we should be cautious about using up the sun if we plan to develop alternative sources of energy! There’s a worry I don’t have to assume.

I’ll stick with my concern about whether the power production at the pavilion will reduce the carbon foot print of the beach and its users fast and fully enough so that we can all find some habitat we like there when summer rolls around.

 

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2 comments
  1. Roy Jeffrey said:

    Susan, How long before the northward moving land-water interface causes the sea to topple the windmill? Is the windmill as outsized to the landscape as it appears, or is it your photo? Roy

  2. Roy, that’s a good question. I don’t think the wind mill and the pavilion or the houses in Jerusalem will be there when my grandchildren come to the beach. These beaches are almost 200 feet narrower than they were in 1980. As for the wind mill, it’s the angle on my photo that makes it looks tall. It stands next to the pavilion which visually reduces its height. susan

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