Alaska’s Pummeled Coast

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Coastal erosion in Alaska is a concern that is becoming a more critical topic. The sea ice that once protected the fragile coast is not there for as long as it once was. Coastal villages are under constant attack and are frequently the topic of news articles about their flooding, damage, and/or relocation.

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The Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy (ACCAP)   works with the state and coastal communities to inform realistic community plans and climate adaptation strategies using the most scientifically accurate, reliable, and up-to-date information. Coastal erosion is just one of the many topics the ACCAP deals with. Their website contains one page in particular that is valuable for teachers: UNDERSTANDING COASTAL EROSION.

I would use the slide presentation link from this page to tie oceanography concepts (surface circulation, shoreline features, processes, and dynamics, ocean waves, and shore stabilization) to Alaska. One possible project would be to have students find a news article about a coastal erosion concern in Alaska and present about what has caused it and what is being done to mitigate the problem.

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