About Gulf Coastal Science Consortium (GCSC)
Over the coming decades our children and grand
children will have to deal with a radically changing coast as the rate of
sea-level rise continues to accelerate, declining sediment supply issues remain
unresolved and hurricanes continue to take their toll. The Gulf Coast is especially vulnerable
to these changes and there is strong evidence that the current rate of coastal
change is unprecedented.
Scientists know that the Mississippi Delta, the area of most rapid
change and wetlands loss, has had a history of growth over the past few
thousand years (Fisk and McFarlan, 1955; Frazier, 1967; Törnqvist et al., 1996.
Day et al. 2007). The same can be
said for barrier islands, most of which are currently experiencing rapid
change. Along the upper Texas
coast, there is strong scientific evidence that historical shoreline retreat
for these barriers is unprecedented relative to the past several millennia
(Wallace 2010; Anderson and Wallace, 2011; Wallace and Anderson, in
press). Recent studies of most of
the larger bays of the Gulf Coast estuaries (Mobile Bay, Calcasieu Lake, Sabine
Lake, Galveston Bay, Matagorda Bay, and Corpus Christi Bay) demonstrate that
they experienced rapid change in the past when rates of sea-level rise were
higher, but near the current rate (Anderson and Rodriguez, 2008 and references
there in; Anderson et al., 2010).
The level of awareness and
response to coastal change varies widely across the region. Louisiana leads the way in public
awareness and action, but there the problem is more acute (State Coastal Master
Plan 2012). Texas, on the other
hand, is in a state of denial and, along with Mississippi, Alabama and Florida,
essentially lack any kind of concerted effort in public education about coastal
change or programs designed to prepare for change. The State of Texas has a
governor who has publicly denied global change, as did the entire congressional
delegation of Louisiana. Similar
examples occur all along the Gulf Coast.
Part of the problem is that science is being ignored and the battle to
preserve our coast is too often waged at the local level where it is least
likely to be successful. It is time for the Gulf Coast scientific community to
assume leadership to create a more sustainable coast. The Gulf Coast Science Consortium is dedicated to assessing
the state of scientific knowledge about impacts of Global Change on the Gulf
Coast and conveying this information to policy makers, the media and the
general public thereby encouraging a Gulf-wide coastal sustainability plan.
Gulf Coast Issues
The Gulf Coastal Science Consortium is dedicated to assessing the state of scientific knowledge about impacts of Global Change on the Gulf Coast and conveying this information to policy makers, the media and the general public thereby encouraging a Gulf-wide coastal sustainability plan.
Shell Center for Sustainability