This blog post is the first of a two-post series examining cownose ray (Rhinoptera bonasus) history and ecology in the Chesapeake Bay. In 2007, an article appeared in the reputable scientific journal Science asserting that declines in large shark populations along the eastern coast of the United States had led to an “explosion” of rays and skates due to lack of predation.
Hurricane Sandy was a wake-up call. More and more, people are asking, "What can be done to sustain coastal communities in the face of climate change and accelerated sea level rise?" The story of Holland Island, a once-thriving fishing community, reveals the importance of maintaining social infrastructure to sustain communities. The last house on Holland Island (credit: Wikipedia). Coastal communities must be resilient to cope with changing conditions served up by a sometimes harsh environment.