New York Harbor, © David Freese, 2015.
Orient Point, Long Island, © David Freese, 2015.
With the success of West Coast: Bering to Baja, it seems natural, appropriate and important to follow up the west coast effort with a companion book on the east coast. The working title is East Coast: Arctic to Tropic. Together, they will give a complete picture of North America's coastlines at this period in time with the perils of climate change on the horizon. (Hurricane Sandy is a prime example.) As an encore, Simon Winchester will be bringing his wonderful descriptive powers to bear in the accompanying text and George F. Thompson will again publish.
This journey will actually start in Greenland and then cross the Davis Strait to Canada's high Arctic eastern shores. Greenland's ice sheet is melting with increasing rapidity as the result of climate change. Rising sea levels will have a direct effect on our East Coast shores and will in time disrupt the Gulf Stream.
I started the project in summer, 2013, and did indeed travel to Greenland and the Canadian Arctic with a wonderful, unique Canadian organization called Students on Ice - www.studentsonice.com. Each year they undertake two polar expeditions – one to the Arctic, the other to Antarctica. The expeditions are designed to educate high school students from all over the world about our polar regions.
West Coast is about the danger of geological forces – and the beauty that lures us - on a coastline that is densely populated in many vulnerable areas. Geologically, the east coast is relatively stable. There is no meeting of tectonic plates here to cause havoc. Most all of the rugged topography created north of New York City and on into Canada was created by the ebb and flow of ice age glaciers. Imagine ice one mile thick on top of Manhattan. Long Island and Cape Cod are the terminal moraines of such an immense ice sheet.
The present danger to the East coast is posed by rising sea levels and weather - specifically more powerful storms that are fueled by more water in the atmosphere as the result of climate change. There is no better evidence of this than the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. As one observer stated, "the storm of the century now happens every 5 years." All the low lying cities, communities, and developments that proliferate all along the eastern seaboard have been impacted and will continue to be at great risk.
From Greenland and the Canadian Arctic, the photographic journey will continue to the Torngat Mountains and the Coast of Labrador, then to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island, Saint Lawrence Seaway, to Acadia National Park in Maine, Cape Cod, Boston Harbor, Long Island Sound, Hudson River and New York Harbor, Jersey Shore, Delaware River and Bay, Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore Harbor, Potomac River and Washington DC, the Outer Banks, and the multitude of Nature Preserves that follow the coast all the way south to the Everglades and finally end at Key West in the Gulf of Mexico. I look forward to completing this endeavor and to another photographic labor of love.