If ever there was an exclamation point to a report warning of the consequences of climate change, Hurricane Sandy was it. As the storm swept up the Eastern Seaboard last fall it cut national seashores in two, inundated mainland parks that lie at sea level, downed untold scores of trees, and in its aftermath left the National Park Service with a glowing opportunity to put its parks back together with similarly potent storms in mind.DOI Sustainability Plan.pdf
Signals of climate change seem to be more and more frequent in some parts of the country. In the Rocky Mountains, snowfall patterns are changing, temperatures are warming, bird behavior is alternating.
Photographic slides paper-clipped to strings to dry out. Officer's Row at Fort Hancock propped up with two-by-fours. Multi-use paths ripped out in places and buried in sand elsewhwere. That was part of the aftermath from Hurricane Sandy at Gateway National Recreation Area.
Barrier islands are creatures of the seas, cast about and pushed around by the waves and currents. Proof of that can be found today at Fire Island National Seashore along the New York coast, where the barrier island it sets on was cut in two as well as shoved closer to the Long Island mainland by Hurricane Sandy.
Today, four months after Hurricane Sandy battered and bruised the Eastern Seaboard, the disarray the storm delivered across many units of the National Park System continues to be cleaned up. Some damage remains to be discovered. And though summer remains months away, some units will be severely challenged to be fully operational by Memorial Day.
Work to recover Fire Island National Seashore in New York from Hurricane Sandy continues, but it's too early to plan a Memorial Day Weekend escape there, according to national seashore officials.
A half dozen moose, and a couple wolves, are to be captured in Voyageurs National Park so they can be fitted with collars that will track their movements and gather information to help biologists understand how they're responding to climate change.
The Lyell Glacier, the largest glacier in Yosemite National Park, has stagnated, or ceased its downhill movement, according to a recent study conducted by scientists from the National Park Service and the University of Colorado.
Climate change continues to hover over various iconic aspects of the National Park System -- the glaciers in Glacier National Park, Joshua Trees at Joshua Tree National Park, and now perhaps the Haleakalā silversword plant at Haleakalā National Park in Hawaii.
A host of federal agencies are working to collaborate on efforts to protect coral reefs in the Caribbean.