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Water Reporter reveals eroding coast

We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, but have you ever seen a photo that is worth 17 years?

Rick Frantz achieves such a feat by relying on his graphic design skills to compose his Water Reporter post from May 5. Images of Diamond Cove Beach from 2004 and 2021 are compared to reveal the slow process of erosion with a stark visual contrast.

“Unless it is due to a catastrophic event erosion is hard to detect on a daily basis,” wrote Rick. “Over time it becomes very obvious.”

As a longtime resident of Great Diamond Island, Rick is always close to Casco Bay. He began using Water Reporter on his daily ferry commute to Portland, back when he and his wife ran Andy’s Old Port Pub on Commercial Street. On his way to and from the mainland, Rick could see a range of conditions on the Bay spanning from the islands to the heart of the city’s working waterfront.

“I got into Water Reporter because I was always on the water, and obviously living on the water you’re concerned about the Bay,” said Rick.

Rick, thank you for your excellent Water Reporting, and for helping us protect the environmental health of Casco Bay!

Water Reporter Post of the Month: Sally Carlisle

Growing-up sailing the waters of Penobscot Bay with her dad, Water Reporter Sally Carlisle fell in love with the coast of Maine at a young age.

Last fall, when Sally joined our community of Water Reporters, she began to notice something new about her life-long home. “Through all the years I spent on the coast, I was looking at the seals, at the boats, at all of the beautiful things there are to see!” shares Sally. “Getting involved with Water Reporter, I began to notice more than just the beauty. I saw the erosion, the sea level rise – I began to notice the change.”

One of Sally’s favorite places to walk is by the Little River at Wolfe’s Neck where she has been using Water Reporter to keep an eye on erosion. Erosion is naturally occurring in coastal environments, as the flows of estuaries and the rise and fall of tides slowly remove sediment from the shore. However, intensifying storms, rising seas, and other impacts of climate change can speed-up coastal erosion. Images like this one captured by Sally help us to visualize how quickly change is occurring and to identify locations that may benefit from intervention or support.

Water Reporter has helped Sally become more connected to the Little River area, a relationship she is sharing with her community. “I have been sharing the photos with my friends and family, and their concerns have been raised too,” says Sally. She’s even begun talking about erosion with her four-year-old granddaughter who shares with her a love for the sea.

Sally, thank you for being a Water Reporter, for sharing your passion for environmental health with your family and friends, and for caring about Casco Bay!