Report: Outer Banks’ three national parks threatened by climate change

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse prior to its move in 1999. [NPS photo]

Cape Hatteras National Seashore is one of ten sites featured in a new national report by The Cultural Landscape Foundation that was unveiled in late November.

The “Landslide 2019: Living in Nature” report highlights ten cultural landscapes throughout the nation that are threatened by flooding, wildfires, regional drought and other effects of human-induced climate change.

In addition to highlighting the cultural significance of each site, the report features organizations working to protect them like Outer Banks Forever, the local nonprofit partner of the three national parks of the Outer Banks – Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, and Wright Brothers National Memorial.

While Cape Hatteras National Seashore is the focus of the feature, all three Outer Banks national parks are mentioned in the profile.

The ten sites demonstrate the wide array of effects from climate change and the scope of its impact on our natural and cultural resources.

Ranging from small parcels to thousands of acres, the sites are also geographically and typologically diverse, comprising agrarian landscapes, living communities, and historical monuments and stretching from Hawai’i to the Heartland.

The illustrated report includes an introduction by Jonathan B. Jarvis, the former director of the National Park Service. The report provides a history of each site, outlines the threats posed to them, and ways for people to get involved.

First issued in 2003, Landslide has highlighted more than 300 significant at-risk parks, gardens, horticultural features, working landscapes, and other places that collectively embody our shared landscape heritage. Landslide designations have resulted in advocacy that has saved numerous sites.

Moreover, once a site is enrolled in the Landslide program, it is monitored by TCLF. In keeping with TCLF’s prior thematic Landslide reports, each of the sites in Landslide 2019: Living in Nature was nominated by individuals or groups advocating for their stewardship including Outer Banks Forever.

“Climate change is a widely acknowledged threat to natural and ecological systems, but the dire potential impacts on irreplaceable cultural systems and historic resources need greater attention,” said Charles A. Birnbaum, TCLF’s President & CEO, “and it requires action, now.

The other sites featured in the report include:

  • Buckner Homestead Historic District, Stehekin, Washington
  • Death Valley Scotty Historic District, Death Valley, California
  • Easton’s Point, Newport, Rhode Island
  • Gateway National Recreation Area, Staten Island & Jamaica Bay, New York; Sandy Hook, New Jersey
  • Giant Sequoia Range, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California
  • Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument and Blackwater National Wildlife Reserve, Dorchester County, Maryland
  • Holden Arboretum, Kirtland, Ohio
  • Isle de Jean Charles, Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana
  • Puʻukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, Kawaihae, Hawai’i

This story originally appeared on Read More local stories here.

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