A few days ago, I heard about Tropical Storm Arthur when it was near Florida and didn't think much of it. As it continued to build strength while making its way north, I'd catch a bit of information here and there, but I was more excited about it producing some swells for surfing than anything else. Then sometime on Wednesday, it became serious. From a tropical storm, it climbed quickly to become a strong Category 2 storm and it was going to make landfall directly over the Outer Banks.
The Outer Banks, if you're not familiar, are a set of barrier islands spanning the North Carolina coast. The Atlantic on the east side and the Pamlico Sound to the west surround the chain of islands.
Before moving here I began reading up on barrier islands and where they fit in to climate change, rising sea levels, and what those looming threats will mean for the people and places we now call home. An organization comprised of business owners, realtors and developers in 20 of the coastal counties has lobbied the North Carolina legislature to put a moratorium on their decision regarding sea level rising until 2016. Instead of acknowledging the data that says the sea level will rise 39 inches between now and 2100, the legislature is looking at a projection for the next 30 years, which says the sea level will rise only 8 inches.
I've been approaching what I photograph down here focused on this complicated reality in mind hoping to dig deeper and present both sides of a looming inevitability with its affects on the people here today, now.