Victoria Long has a deep connection to the land here in Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Her family has farmed this land for generations—since 1652 to be exact. She grew up a few miles from the Virginia Coast Reserve Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site, attended the local high school and began to work for the LTER in the footsteps of an older sister. Now, she is using her PhD research to give back to the local community.
Rising seas are not theoretical here. In this farming region, landowners have watched their coastal fields become wetter, losing 474 arable acres to intruding salt marsh each and every year. Taking me to her study sites, Long drove through small towns and skirted numerous farm fields until we arrived at the Nature Conservancy property. It may be called the Brownsville Preserve now, but when Long looks at the historic house and flat fields with waving grasses, she sees land that generations of her family once owned.
Read the entire article at the LTER Network blog!