, Newburyport, MA


March 22, 2013

Over the border, a different seascape

It was a coincidence, but...

On Monday of this week I toured the shoreline from Salisbury Beach to New Hampshire’s Seacoast Science Center off Rte. 1A in Rye, noting with considerable respect how completely that state has used stone in all its sizes and shapes to protect its roads and highways from ocean surge.

On Tuesday morning, I was surprised by The Daily News page one photograph of similar efforts by desperate Plum Island home owners to safeguard their homes by bringing in truckloads of stones.

I had a small one in my jacket pocket. I had spotted it as the only one I could see about me in the sand near Salisbury’s jetty. It was obviously well traveled by way of the ocean, and about the size of my thumb. It was identified at home as a much traveled piece of quartz that had once been used in construction - probably in a roadbed as one side was covered with sea-leached traces of macadam.

I had no intention of driving the twenty miles or so to the Seacoast Center. I had planned to go as far as the Hampton bridge to check the heavily inhabited shores of Salisbury and Hampton so far as was possible.

There having been almost no traffic I held my speed to something around twenty five miles an hour, interrupted by occasional visits up short streets rising to the tops of the beach barriers.

I was pleasantly surprised to find many with the names of cities and towns -- Boston Street, Amesbury Street, Newbury Street.

Residents share much in common because lot sizes are not generous.

Side streets are occupied with what appeared to be well kept homes. Such views to the West as there are testify to the role of Salisbury Beach, as others do at Plum Island.

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