AmericaSpeaks TheVoiceOfJoyce Hard work and ingenuity are saving this town from washing away into the Pacific Ocean. 5 miles of Shoreline have been eroded and homes lost, till David Cottrell, a local resident and cranberry farmer, living a sea level, decided to save their shoreline. He created a system of Berms along the waters edge, consisting of piled stones and sand. His project, protecting, his land is so successful, his methodology has been duplicated along 2 miles of Willapa’s Coastline, in Washington. So far, there’s been a 10 fold reduction in erosion. In fact, the sea is reinforcing these berms. Now, the Cottrell method is being watched carefully by the Washington State Dept. Of Ecology and coastal engineers in the US and Europe. If Cottrell’ s methodology is sustainable, many towns can replicate it at little expense. Congratulations!

These days, Cottrell leads North Cove’s largest-ever anti-erosion project. In the last few years, he has created barriers – long berms of piled stones and accreted sand – that keep the waves at bay. The project, a dynamic revetment, now runs nearly 2 miles along the Willapa’s north shore.

The experiment, so far, appears to be working. As of last year, the cove had seen a roughly 10-fold reduction in the erosion rate – a promising break with historical patterns – according to the Washington State Department of Ecology. Property values had risen as the high tide line migrated seaward.

Coastal scientists and engineers, in the US and Europe, have been following Cottrell’s work. In the age of climate change and intensifying coastal storms, nearshore communities face an uncertain future. If Cottrell’s experiment succeeds in the long run, the technique could be imitated in places that cannot afford to wall off rising waters with costly construction.

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