Featured Scientist: Thomas A. Stone, M.A. Senior Research Associate
Project: Cape Cod Land Cover and Sea Level Rise
The Losing Cape Cod project, originally produced in 1999 by WHRC Senior Research Associate Tom Stone, mapped the rapid land-cover changes on Cape Cod due to residential and commercial development from 1951 to 1990. Now, over ten years later, with the support of the Adelard A. & Valeda Lea Roy Foundation, Horizon Foundation, and the Sheehan Family Foundation, Stone is once again mapping the Cape in his new project, Cape Cod Land Cover and Sea Level Rise. By using GIS datasets from the year 2005, Stone’s research spans five decades of mapping and monitoring Cape Cod’s environmental changes while illustrating the impact of the potential effects of sea level rise on the land cover, property, and infrastructure of the region. Open spaces and natural lands of the Cape face new pressures from a rapidly changing climate that brings, with warming, increasing rates of sea level rise. This, combined with predicted increased storminess, will likely mean greater rates of coastal erosion, more flooding, and damage to our highly productive salt marshes, which serve as nurseries for much of our fisheries.
Video: Produced by Research Associate Kathleen Savage.
Images: (background) Cape Cod by Image Science and Analysis Laboratory, NASA - Johnson Space Center; (top left) Hurricane tracks produced by Tom Stone; (bottom left) Sea level rise off Bristol Beach in Falmouth, MA by Mitch Buck, Woods Hole Group. Composite design by Development Solutions of New England (DSNE).