The bay giveth, the bay taketh away

Ken Touchton (left) and I at Hughlett Point natural preserve, near Shiloh Schoolhouse, outside Kilmarnock, Va. When we were here a couple of years ago there was a large, standing forest of dead trees on this beach. Now there are just a few. It is the result of the tectonic plate the Chesapeake Bay rests on subsiding, tilting toward the Atlantic Ocean. As the water rose, it killed the trees. Now they are gone. The bay has claimed them, washed them away, working the beach further inland. For eons it has been adding sand here, forming the point. Now it is subtracting it. There will be another ghost forest once the bay pushes further inland.

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