Environment, Marine Science & Natural History
Some Kind of Wet Machinery Just Sloshed Through the Carolinas From Weather Underground: An extremely strong conveyor belt of moisture will stream into the Carolinas over the next several days, aided by moisture from Hurricane Joaquin as it turns to the north in the Atlantic Ocean. While the higher elevations of South Carolina will experience […]
Manifesto For Living On The Coast
1. Care of the land and water has no end point.
The natural world is always going to be there. It will support us far better if we also support it. We’re part of a vast system that can’t be eternally bent to our will without breaking down. Look for ways to work with nature rather than trying to remove it from the equation.
2. Everything starts with the elements.
Whether you’re gardening, building, fishing, or sailing, the air, the soil and the water were there first, and must be thought about first.
3. Nature is more powerful and knows better than you.
When deciding how to form your coastal life, remember that nature calls the shots. Ignoring natural forces will cost far more in the end. Understanding, embracing and working with nature will pay dividends you can’t even imagine now.
4. We all make mistakes.
With all the variables at play in the coastal environment, nothing we do here is black and white. Scientists do the best they can to find out what’s what and share that information with us. In dealing with our impacts on the land and water, we need to use the information provided to us as best we can. The same way we do when choosing our food or raising our children. When you learn you’ve been making a mistake, admit it, find out what will work better, and take another tack.
5. Take risks and escape the tyranny of “the way we’ve always done it.”
From goat milk shampoo to riding a bike to work, new ideas to protect nature come along every day. Give some that seem outlandish an honest try. As Helen Keller said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
6. Helping to heal the world will heal you.
If we mindlessly pump chemicals into our bodies we get sick. The same is true for our land and water. Exercising outdoors is good for us. It’s also good for the earth, because we care for what we inhabit on a daily basis. Taking part in a beach cleanup or stream restoration benefits our hearts and minds while also benefiting the land and sea.
7. Decide what you’re here for.
Why did you come to the coast? Because it’s beautiful? For fresh air? To play on the beach? To raise a healthy family? Why are you here now? Are you here to watch life happen to other people on television? Or are you here to live your own great life? Keep answering this question. Keep acting on the answer.
8. Work hard to make taking care of nature easy.
Diligently get rid of habits, products and processes that don’t benefit nature or anyone. We do a lot of things without thinking. Do the hard work of choosing between what you really want in your life, what’s worth spending time, energy and money on, versus what’s simply been sold to you.
9. Know your limits.
Some tasks need more than trial and error, or come with confusing instructions. Some technical problems are beyond our knowledge. Those times call for expert help. Get that help early before starting to build, landscape, or harvest. There’s a great network of scientists and professionals surrounding coastal issues. They really appreciate being called in before a situation turns into an emergency.
10. Learn to value a different set of rewards.
Instant gratification is nice, but it’s difficult to come by when working with nature. In this realm, you have to take the long view. Letting things be, letting the pieces fall where they may, can be the ultimate torture. If your biggest thrill is planting petunias precisely 10 inches apart, you’re in for some changes. But the rewards for learning to SAIL (Stand Aside, Interfere Little) will be great.