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牡蛎让美国路易斯安那州免被水淹的原因

更新时间:2018-9-24 10:20:25 来源:千亿千亿国际娱乐官网 作者:佚名

Louisiana is disappearing under water-can oysters save it?
牡蛎让美国路易斯安那州免被水淹的原因

From the boat, the salt marsh looks pristine: cloud-dotted sky, brown-blue water, gold-green grass. As we motor along the coast, a flock of egrets flutters into the air, startled by the only humans in sight. Later, I’m equally startled to see an alligator lazing in the shallows.

从船上望去,盐沼看起来是那么的纯净:云朵点缀的天空,棕蓝色的海水,金色绿色相间的草地。我们沿着海岸行驶时,一群白鹭被它们视野中唯一的人类惊起,飞向空中。后来,看到一只短吻鳄懒洋洋地躺在浅滩上,我同样吓了一跳。

It is easy, if you don’t know any better, to think that the world of the wetlands is simple, steadfast, still. That would be incorrect. A salt marsh is an exquisitely complex ecosystem. It is also a crucial one. In Louisiana, where wetlands make up one-third of the state by area, the landscape plays a pivotal role. These waving grasses along the Gulf of Mexico underpin Louisiana’s seafood industry, the country’s second-largest behind Alaska. They are home to key infrastructure, like the pipes that carry oil and gas from the largest US entry port for waterborne crude oil all the way up to Knoxville, Tennessee and Washington DC.

如果你没有更多的了解,很容易认为湿地的世界是简单,稳定,静止的。这是错误的。盐沼是一种精巧复杂的生态系统,也是很重要的系统。在路易斯安那州,湿地面积占整个州面积的三分之一,这种景观起到了关键作用。这些沿着墨西哥湾起伏的草地支撑着路易斯安那州的海鲜产业,该州的海鲜产业规模仅次于阿拉斯加州,全美排名第二。这些湿地还建有重要的基础设施,比如从美国最大的原油进口港到田纳西州(Tennessee)诺克斯维尔(Knoxville)和华盛顿特区(Washington DC)的油气管道。

And although the precise magnitude of their effect is still being debated, they are a natural barrier against storm surge, hurricanes and flooding. The wetlands at Biloxi Marsh – a web of bayous, brackish and salt lakes in south-east Louisiana that give way to Eloi Bay, Chandeleur Sound and, finally, to the Gulf of Mexico – help protect even New Orleans, 45 miles away.

尽管关于这些湿地的确切作用尚有争议,但它们是抵御风暴潮、飓风和洪水的天然屏障。比洛克西沼泽(Biloxi Marsh)的湿地位于路易斯安那州东南部,是由河口、咸水湖和盐湖组成的网络,通向埃洛伊湾(Eloi Bay)、尚德卢尔海峡(Chandeleur Sound),最终通往墨西哥湾(Gulf of Mexico)。它甚至有助于保护45英里外的新奥尔良(New Orleans)。

The salt marsh is also a landscape that is changing, fast. From 1932 to 2016 in Louisiana, on average, open water subsumed a chunk of wetlands the size of a football field every hour. It’s true that the rate of loss has slowed. A football field is now being swallowed every 100 minutes, rather than every 34 minutes, when it was at its peak. This is largely because there hasn’t been a major hurricane since 2008. It’s partly because of restoration activities. And there’s another reason, too. “In recent years it’s reached a slowdown, but that’s because the most vulnerable spots are already gone,” says Seth Blitch, director of coastal and marine conservation at the Nature Conservancy of Louisiana. The slowdown, however, isn’t guaranteed to continue.

盐沼也是一种变化迅速的地貌。从1932年到2016年,路易斯安那州平均每小时都有一块足球场大小的湿地被开阔水域覆盖。湿地减少的速度确实减慢了。现在每100分钟一个足球场大小的湿地被吞噬,而这个速度达到峰值时仅需34分钟。这在很大程度上是因为自2008年以来没有发生过大飓风。部分原因是恢复环境的活动。还有另外一个原因, “近年来,这一趋势有所减缓,但那是因为最脆弱的地方已经消失了,”路易斯安那州自然保护协会(Nature Conservancy of Louisiana)海岸和海洋保护主任布里奇(Seth Blitch)说。然而,这种放缓并不一定会持续下去。

The landscape here always has been changeable. But such enormity of land loss is new. Most of it is due to the Mississippi River levee. Since the levee’s construction in the 1930s, the state has lost one-quarter of its wetlands: just under 2,000 square miles (5,100sqkm). That’s the size of Delaware, or Trinidad and Tobago. If nothing changes, Louisiana will lose another 1,000 square miles (2,600sqkm) – that’s a Rhode Island or Luxembourg of land mass – by 2050.

这里的地貌一直在变化。但是如此巨大的土地流失是前所未有的,其中很大一个原因是密西西比河(Mississippi River)的堤坝。自上世纪30年代修建堤坝以来,该州湿地已经减少了四分之一:将近5100平方公里。这相当于特拉华州(Delaware),或者特立尼达和多巴哥(Trinidad and Tobago)的面积。如果状况持续下去,到2050年,路易斯安那州将再失去2600平方公里的土地——相当于罗德岛州(Rhode Island)或卢森堡(Luxembourg)的陆地面积。

“My background is ecology, so it’s my first reaction to think about the wildlife habitat that we’re losing. But if you take a step back, this issue goes way beyond that,” says Deb Abibou, restoration programmes director at the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL). “The struggle that we’re facing down here doesn’t just mean ‘Oh, we have less land for our houses.’

“我的专业背景是生态学,所以我的第一反应是想到野生物种的栖息地正在缩减。但如果你退后一步,这个问题就远远超出了这个范围,”路易斯安那海岸恢复联盟(CRCL, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana)的恢复项目主任阿比伯(Deb Abibou)说。“我们在这里面临的斗争并不仅仅意味着‘哦,我们的建筑用地减少了。’”

“It means that we are losing the natural resources that we depend on for our seafood, for our recreation, for our industries, and for our protection of inland communities.”

“这意味着我们正在失去自然资源,我们的海鲜,我们的娱乐休闲,我们的工业,我们内陆社区的保护都依赖于这些资源。”

Some 45 minutes after leaving Hopedale Marina, we pull up to a strip of flat grassy marsh. It looks like the rest of the coastline we’ve seen for the last few miles, with two differences. First, a handful of white PVC poles punctuate the area where the mud meets water. Second, and visible only because we’ve come at low tide, a black border surrounds the marshland, about 20 feet offshore, like a fortification edging a moat.

离开霍普代尔码头(Hopedale Marina )大约45分钟后,我们停在一条平坦的草地沼泽上。它看起来就和我们前面几英里看到的海岸线差不多,但有两处不同。首先,少量的白色聚氯乙烯(PVC)杆点缀在泥滩与水面相接的地方。其次,由于我们在退潮时来到这里,所以可以看到这片沼泽地周围出现了一条黑色的边界线,离海岸约20英尺,就像护城河边上的防御工事。

Just how effective that fortification is what the team is here to test.

这个防御工事到底效果如何,正是团队来这里要测试的。

Wearing waterproofs and rubber boots, the CRCL’s Christa Russell and Jenny Wolff jump out of the boat, unspooling a measuring tape from one white stick in the grass to one in the water. The one in the water used to be on land, too: now, it’s about two and a half feet off. The land has crumbled away entirely.

路易斯安那海岸恢复联盟的拉塞尔和沃尔夫穿着防水服和橡胶靴,从船上跳了下来,用卷尺量着草里一根白色杆子到水里一根杆子的距离。水里的那根杆子曾经也在陆地上:现在,它离陆地大约有2.5英尺。陆地已经完全碎裂了。

But the rate at which it has crumbled is good news.

但好消息是碎裂的速度。

“There’s still land loss,” says Blitch as we bob on the boat, watching a mud-spattered Wolff and Russell pick their way through the grass back to us. “But it’s way slower.”

我们在船上上下起伏着, 看着溅满泥浆的沃尔夫和拉塞尔穿过草地向我们走来,布里奇说,“陆地的流失依然存在,但速度放慢了。”

Several months of data-gathering later, Russell presents the first year’s worth of findings in a New Orleans conference room. The four protected sites lost an average 0.81m of land. At the four control sites, the coastline lost 1.54m. It is still early days. But so far, their project has halved the rate of erosion.

经过几个月的数据收集,拉塞尔在新奥尔良的一个会议室里展示了第一年有价值的调查结果。这四个保护区平均损失了0.81米的土地。在其它四个测量地点,海岸线损失了1.54米。项目仍在初期阶段。但到目前为止,他们的项目已经使侵蚀速度减半。

The protection comes from that black ‘wall’ running around the shoreline. But while many man-made seawalls are concrete or rock, this one, about a half mile (0.8km) long in total, is different: it is made up entirely of oyster shells.

保护来自于环绕海岸线的黑色的“墙”。但是,尽管许多人造海堤都是用的混凝土或岩石,这条总长约0.8公里的海堤却不同:它完全由牡蛎壳构成。

Finished in November 2016, the reef – the first built by the CRCL and The Nature Conservancy in Louisiana – was a massive project. The 1.7 million pounds (771,000kg) of shell used were contributed by 26 local restaurants, including a dozen in New Orleans. This isn’t the world’s only oyster shell recycling programme; there are similar projects in Texas, New York, San Francisco and the Chesapeake Bay, as well as in Australia. But given the number of oysters that are shucked around the world, these programmes are relatively few.

这座牡蛎礁在2016年11月建成,是一个庞大的工程,也是路易斯安那海岸恢复联盟和路易斯安那州自然保护协会建成的第一座牡蛎礁。当地的26家餐馆,其中包括新奥尔良州的12家餐馆提供了77.1万公斤的牡蛎壳。这不是世界上唯一的牡蛎壳回收项目;在德克萨斯州、纽约、旧金山、切萨皮克湾(Chesapeake Bay)以及澳大利亚也有类似的项目。但考虑到世界各地被剥壳的牡蛎数量,这些项目显得相对较少。

“In earlier times, when fishermen and their buyers had a closer relationship, the restaurants would give the shell back to their fishermen. There are maybe one or two restaurants that still do that today,” says Abibou. “At shucking houses, there’s usually an end product for the shell: it’ll get ground to chicken feed or used as pavement. But at New Orleans restaurants, for the most part, they were throwing them into the landfill.”

“早期,渔民和他们的买家有着更密切的关系,餐馆会把牡蛎壳还给他们的渔民。现在可能还有一两家餐馆还在这样做,”阿比伯说。“在剥壳的房子里,牡蛎壳通常会有一个最终归宿:它会被磨碎,用来喂鸡或者用来铺路。但在新奥尔良的餐馆里,大多数情况下,人们会把它们扔进垃圾填埋场。”

Russell, who is CRCL’s coastal scientist, puts it more bluntly. “Usually, we are taking shell out of the water and not putting it back, which is ridiculous,” she says.

路易斯安那海岸恢复联盟的海岸科学家拉塞尔说得更直白。 “通常情况下,我们把牡蛎壳从水里拿出来却不放回去,这很荒谬,”她说。

After being collected, the shells were left in the sun for six months to cure, getting bleached free of food particles and bacteria. More than 300 volunteers organised them into 434 ‘baskets’. Each measures 3ft by 3ft by 6ft (1m by 1m by 2m) and weighs 4,000 pounds (1,815kg). They were seeded with the oyster larvae known as spat. And then, finally, the shells came, via barges, to their new home in the marsh.

被收集后,这些牡蛎壳被放置在阳光下晒了6个月,之后被漂白,确保没有食物颗粒和细菌残留。300多名志愿者把它们放进434个“篮子”。每个篮子的尺寸是1米乘1米乘2米,重1815公斤。它们被种入了蚝卵,即牡蛎幼体。最后,牡蛎壳通过驳船被运到了他们在沼泽地的新家。

The process may be more difficult than pouring concrete or laying granite. But it was key. “A flat expanse of concrete does not do the same things for an ecosystem that this does,” Russell tells me.

这个过程可能比浇注混凝土或铺设花岗岩更困难。但这是关键。“对于一个生态系统来说,平坦的混凝土区域并不能起到与此相同的作用,”拉塞尔告诉我。

She rattles off the reasons why. By being in the water the shells are, obviously, not in a landfill. The nooks and crannies of oyster shells provide extra surface area, absorbing wave energy and buffering the coastline more than a flat structure. They also offer protection to smaller sea creatures. And the shells allow water, bacteria and algae to flow through them – crucial for the marshes, which use the tidal flow to ‘breathe’.

她不假思索说出了原因。在水中的牡蛎壳显然与在垃圾填埋场里不同。牡蛎壳的凹陷和裂缝提供了额外的表面积,吸收波浪能量,与扁平结构相比对海岸线更能起到缓冲作用。它们也为较小的海洋生物提供保护。而且牡蛎壳允许水、细菌和藻类通过——这对沼泽来说至关重要,它们利用潮汐流来“呼吸”。

Seeded with spat before they’re built, the oyster reefs also encourage other oysters to grow. In the last year, the spat has become 286 individual live oysters: not much, but something. And expected to multiply.

牡蛎礁在建造之前就已经播下了蚝卵,这也鼓励了牡蛎的生长。在过去的一年里,蚝卵已经成长为286只独立的活牡蛎:虽然不多,但多少有点。预期能加倍繁殖。

One benefit of having live oysters is that the reefs then grow vertically – and can do so faster than sea level is expected to rise. Another benefit is water filtration. Each tiny creature can clean an impressive 50 gallons a day, making them the ocean’s most effective water filters. They also capture and store nitrogen and phosphorus.

有活牡蛎存在的一个好处是珊瑚礁可以垂直生长,而且速度远快于海平面的预计上升速度。另一个好处是水过滤。每一个微小的牡蛎每天可以清洁多达50加仑的水,使它们成为海洋中最有效的滤水器。它们还能捕获和储存氮和磷。

All of this is particularly helpful here in the largest estuary system in the US. For 7,000 years, the Mississippi River moved freely. It swept sediment along with it, and as that sediment built up the river would re-route, finding a different path to the Gulf of Mexico. But when the river was leveed, it stayed static. Instead of being deposited in the estuary, all of the sediment now washes out to the Gulf.

在美国最大的河口系统中,所有这些都格外有帮助。7000年来,密西西比河(Mississippi River)一直自由地流动。它把沉积物一起冲刷带走,当沉积物堆积起来的时候,河流会改道,找到另一条通往墨西哥湾的路径。但当河堤筑起时,河水保持静止。现在所有的沉积物物都被冲向墨西哥湾,而不是沉积在河口。

This means that as the land naturally subsides, as the soft sediment of an estuary does, it is no longer replenished – the main reason for that Delaware-sized disappearance into the Gulf. And the irony is that, although the levee was built to protect communities and industry from the mighty Mississippi, now it is having the opposite effect. The more marsh is lost, the less protection Louisiana’s residents have against floods, storms and sea level rise. For the two-thirds of residents who live near the coast, this can be particularly deadly.

这意味着,随着陆地自然下沉,就像河口的软沉积物一样,河口陆地不再得到补充。这是造成特拉华州大小的土地被墨西哥湾吞没的主要原因。讽刺的是,尽管修建堤坝是为了保护社区和工业免受强大的密西西比河的侵袭,现在却产生了反作用。失去的沼泽越多,路易斯安那居民对洪水、风暴和海平面上升所得到的保护就越少。对于三分之二住在海岸附近的居民来说,这尤其致命。

Abibou frames it in terms of lines of defence. “At the furthest end, you have your barrier islands as the first buffer. Then you have various types of marshes and coastal forest,” she says. “If you remove all of the natural infrastructure from that, then it’s the sea against our manmade concrete. And nature’s going to win.”

阿比伯把它描绘成防线。“在最远的一端,你有堰洲岛(barrier island)作为第一个缓冲区。然后是各种类型的沼泽和沿海森林,”她说。“如果你把所有自然的基础设施都从那里移走,那就只剩下我们的人造混凝土与大海抗衡。于是大自然就会获胜。”

The levee also means that the water in the Gulf is turbid and muddy. And that the pollutants nitrogen and phosphorus, staples of agriculture, are increasingly being carried from across the US into the Gulf. The mud and toxins create uninhabitable ‘dead zones’. Fewer plants grow. Fewer roots hold soil together. And so more land is lost.

堤坝也意味着墨西哥湾的水是浑浊泥泞的。而农业的主要产物,污染物氮和磷正越来越多地从美国各地进入墨西哥湾。泥浆和毒素造成了生物无法存活的“死区”。植物减少,抓住土壤的根系也随之减少。因此造成了更多的土地流失。

Animals are affected, too: “Submerged aquatic vegetation and algae can’t get access to light in the same way when the water is really muddy like that,” says Russell. “So they don’t grow the same way – which means the species that depend on them go elsewhere.”

动物也受到了影响:“当水真的如此浑浊时,水生植被和藻类都无法获得光线,”拉塞尔说。“所以它们都无法生长——这意味着依赖它们的物种只能去别的地方。”

Oyster reefs help with all of this. So do wetlands. In terms of what the same process would cost with a treatment plant, a single acre soaks up anywhere from $35,000 to $150,000 (£27,000 to £116,000) of pollutants before they get to the Gulf.

牡蛎礁和湿地对此都有帮助。湿地可以在污染物进入墨西哥湾前将其吸收,按照污水净化厂完成相同的过程所需的花费,一英亩湿地可以吸收的污染物,净化厂需耗资3.5万美元到15万美元来处理。

But the world is losing oyster reefs even more rapidly than it is losing marshland. We have lost between 64% and 71% of the world’s wetlands since 1900. Globally, 85% of natural oyster reefs either have been lost or severely depleted due to overharvesting, disease, pollution and declining habitats. In the Gulf, the numbers are a little better: between 50% and 89% of wild reefs have been lost.

但是世界失去牡蛎礁的速度比失去沼泽地的速度还要快。自1900年以来,我们已经失去了世界上64%到71%的湿地。在全球范围内,85%的天然牡蛎礁由于过度捕捞、疾病、污染和栖息地的减少而消失或所剩无几。在墨西哥湾,这个数字稍好一些:50%到89%的野生牡蛎礁已经消失了。

Against this backdrop, building oyster reefs to buffer Louisiana’s wetlands, instead of laying seawalls made of concrete or granite or (more likely still) of doing nothing, no longer seems like an unwieldy undertaking. Instead, as a solution, it seems elegant. Nature usually is.

在这种背景下,相对于铺设混凝土或花岗岩海堤或者(更有可能仍然)什么也不做,建造牡蛎礁对路易斯安那的湿地形成缓冲保护,似乎不再是一项繁重的任务。作为一种解决方案,它看起来很优雅。大自然通常是如此。

The data has borne this out. One study determined that a hectare of oyster reef was worth up to $99,000 (£77,000) per year in terms of benefits like the habitat it provided for other fish and its effect on water quality – not including the value of those oysters being harvested. In terms of flood and storm protection alone, an oyster reef provides more value for money than even levees or dykes. In April 2018, a team of scientists published a cost-benefit analysis of projects being done across the Gulf, from building dykes to restoring barrier islands. Costs of construction and maintenance were weighed against the effectiveness of flood and storm protection – calculated using economic models developed by reinsurance company Swiss Re with its partners.

数据证实了这一点。一项研究表明,一公顷的牡蛎礁按照其创造的收益来计算,价值高达每年9.9万美元,比如为其他鱼类提供栖息地,及其对水质的作用,这还不包括收获那些牡蛎的价值。仅就洪水和风暴防护而言,牡蛎礁比堤坝更物有所值。2018年4月,一组科学家发表了对墨西哥湾地区正在进行的项目成本效益分析,从修建堤坝到恢复堰洲岛。用修建和维护成本对比洪水和风暴防护的效益进行了权衡,通过瑞士再保险公司(Swiss Re)与其合作伙伴开发的经济模型进行计算。

The findings were stark. Anything with a benefit-to-cost ratio above one is, of course, seen as cost-effective. In terms of reducing risk alone, dykes and levees had a benefit-to-cost ratio of 0.26; beach replenishment in the western Gulf, 0.28. Restoring oyster reefs (7.34) was calculated to be 28 times more beneficial. And restoring wetlands? Thirty-three times more (8.72). The only project with a higher benefit-to-cost ratio was sandbags – but only because of how cheap they were. In terms of overall risk reduction, the benefit was low.

研究结果很明显。当然,只要效益成本比高于1,都被视为具有成本效益。仅在降低风险方面,堤坝的效益成本比为0.26;墨西哥湾西部的海滩补给再生为0.28。而恢复牡蛎群礁的效益成本比多出28倍,为7.34。恢复湿地呢?多出33倍,为8.72。唯一一个效益成本比更高的项目是沙袋,但只是因为成本过于低廉。但就降低整体风险而言,沙袋效益很低。

As Abibou puts it: “We can’t just build levees and hide behind them. We need to have a healthy marsh and healthy wetlands to provide us with adequate risk reduction.”

就像阿比伯说的:“我们不能只是建造堤坝,躲在它们后面。我们需要一个健康的沼泽和湿地帮我们把风险降到足够低的水平。”

Then there is the value of the fishing industry in general. Oyster reefs like this one aren’t built to be harvested, of course. But by bolstering the ecosystem, they help. Across the US, about 75% of marketable fish and bivalves rely on salt marshes to survive. In Louisiana, they’re the foundation of the most productive commercial fishing industry of the lower 48 states. Louisiana lands 1.2 billion pounds (544m kg) of fish annually. The next state, Washington, lands 552 million (250m kg). Louisiana’s oysters alone make up one-third of the US oyster industry, crabs one-quarter. It lands more shrimp than Texas, Alabama and Florida put together. If the wetlands were to continue to disappear, if the Gulf were to become a mud- and toxin-logged swamp, it’s reasonable to think that that industry would vanish, too. That would wipe out more than 160,000 fishing jobs alone – never mind the knock-on effect to the food, restaurant and tourism industries.

其次是渔业的总体价值。当然,像这样的牡蛎礁不是为收获牡蛎而建的。但通过支持生态系统,它们起到了帮助作用。在美国,大约75%的适销鱼类和双壳类动物依靠盐沼生存。在路易斯安那州,它们是美国48个州中最具生产力的商业捕鱼业的基础。路易斯安那州每年捕获5.44亿公斤的鱼。接下来是华盛顿州,捕获量为2.5亿公斤。仅牡蛎一项,路易斯安那州就占美国牡蛎产业的三分之一,螃蟹占四分之一。该州捕获的虾,比德克萨斯州、阿拉巴马州和佛罗里达州加起来还要多。如果湿地继续消失,如果墨西哥湾地区变成满是泥泞和毒物的沼泽,这个产业很可能也会消失。这将使超过16万个捕鱼工作岗位消失,更不用说对食品、餐馆和旅游业的连锁影响了。

Often lost in the discussion of economic impacts, of what something like erosion or climate change means for humans, is how this kind of habitat has value all on its own. Non-locals may not recognise the names of the grasses that trip off the tongue: hog cane and three-square, saltgrass and glasswort, cordgrass and black rush. But they are strange, special, of value in their own right. Unusually tenacious, they grow out of the low-oxygen sodden soil towards the sunlight. They survive by the tide. When they’re submerged, the ocean brings nutrients and cleans out decay and allows fish to hide and spawn in safety.

人们常常在对经济的讨论中迷失,比如侵蚀或气候变化对人类意味着什么,这类栖息地本身有何等价值。非本地居民可能认不出这类名字饶舌的草:猪藤(hog cane)和三方形草(three-squre),盐生草(saltgrass)和厚岸草(glasswort),绳草(cordgrass)和黑草(black rush)。但它们本身奇怪、特殊、有价值。它们异乎寻常地顽强,从低氧浸透的土壤中向阳光生长。他们靠潮水生存。它们被淹没时,海洋会带来营养物质,清除腐烂,让鱼类安全的隐藏和产卵。

The ecosystem nurtures a long list of creatures.The grasses support dozens of fungi and bacteria and more than 80 species of spiders and insects. These feed crabs and shrimps and oysters and speckled trout and black drum and sea turtles and flounder, which feed herons and egrets and spoonbills and wood storks and seaside sparrows and marsh wrens, which help spread the seed for grass. Nutria hide here, and rabbits, and snipe, and ducks. Alligators, too. Losing the coast risks losing them all.

这个生态系统孕育了一长串的生物。这些草供养了几十种真菌和细菌以及80多种蜘蛛和昆虫。它们喂养螃蟹、虾、牡蛎、斑点鳟鱼、多须石首鱼、海龟和比目鱼,这些水生物又喂养了苍鹭、白鹭、琵鹭、林鹳、海滨麻雀和沼泽鹪鹩,这些鸟类帮助播撒草种子。海狸鼠、兔子、鹬和鸭子和短吻鳄也在此处藏身。失去海岸就有失去所有这一切的危险。

We want to put dollar signs on all of it. That’s particularly true before deciding if something is worth saving. And particularly now, with not only industry statistics but with newly sophisticated models for measuring the financial risk of events like coastal erosion and flooding, we can. But that’s only part of the story. The other part is what surrounds us as we head back towards the mainland: egrets fluttering, fish swirling, alligators stalking, grasses waving – and perhaps little oysters moving below us with the tide, searching for a new reef to settle on and thrive.

我们想给所有这些都贴上美元标签。在决定某样东西是否值得挽救之前,这一点尤其正确。特别是现在,不仅有行业统计数据,而且有新的精密模型来衡量诸如海岸侵蚀和洪水等事件的金融风险,这些我们都可以做到。但这只是故事的一部分。另一部分是当我们返回大陆的时候,我们周围的环境:白鹭拍打着翅膀,鱼儿来回游动,短吻鳄潜行捕猎,草随风摆动——也许还有小牡蛎随着潮水在我们下面移动,寻找新的礁石栖息和繁衍。

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