“Salmon may need to walk”

Land in Juneau has been lifting up at an extremely rapid rate about 10 feet in 200 years, according to the 2007 report. Global warming is one of the causes.

Tongass National Park

Tongass National Park

The movement of the tectonic plates the same movement of the earth’s crust that forces some land areas to rise and other land masses to slide under continues since the dawn of the earths land masses. As the Pacific plate pushes under the North American plate, Juneau, Alaska and Tongass National Forest lands rise still more.

Plate tectonics + glacial readjustment = rising land and receding ocean and an increase in land near the water’s edge.
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In Gustavus, Alaska one landowners property is rising almost three inches a year, Scientists claim that this is the fastest-rising land area in North America.

As the land rises the ocean naturally recedes, adding areas along the coast that begin to turn green with grasses. In Tongass National Forest as the land rises, some of the rivers and streams are filling with silt from melting glacier. The runoff brings the silt down river. If the streams and rivers fill with silt then the salmon may have to learn to walk. Trees and plants are growing where only water flowed before.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of nytimes.com/2009/05/18/science/earth/18

Image courtesy of ourforests.org/places/tongass

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