Coastal communities have a lot to worry about: sea level changes, El Niño, hurricanes, construction, even gardening; all contribute to erosion along the nation’s coasts. None want the fate of the town of Pacifica, California, which started sliding into the ocean in the 1980’s. Producer William Drummond visits homeowners and discusses the reasons for Pacifica’s erosion with geologist Gary Griggs of the University of California at Santa Cruz. How can a community predict the hazards of coastal change? With a mix of airborne technologies, including planes, satellites and infrared detection, scientists can track coastal erosion patterns more easily. NASA investigator Bill Krabill, who revolutionized coastal mapping by combining some of these observing techniques, gives us a bird’s eye view of erosion. Drummond goes up in a small plane with a laser as it maps the North Carolina coast during post-hurricane season and talks to USGS oceanographer Abby Sallenger who pioneered using laser data as a forecasting tool. Lessons learned from the vanishing town of Pacifica reinforce the importance of this research to coastal areas. Carving the Coastline is part of the Soundprint mini-series Exploring Space Science, funded in part by the National Science Foundation.
The Soundprint documentary series features the best work of top radio producers. The award winning documentaries are renowned for drawing the listener into the story with compelling interviews, authentic voices and rich sound. From memoirs to science, health and popular culture, Soundprint creates a powerful experience the listener will not soon forget.