Athens, Ga. – A photograph by ICON and Ecology doctoral student Jeffrey Beauvais was named the winner of the student photography contest at the recent Georgia Climate Conference in Atlanta. Beauvais’s entry, “Watching,” shows the impact of rising sea levels.
“I took this picture an hour and a half before high tide while paddling in a creek I have lived on for over ten years,” wrote Beauvais in his caption for the photograph. “As a child it was rare for the tide to ever crest the seawall these chairs sit a few feet back from; now the spring tides routinely breach the wall and spill deep into people’s yards. Paddling 50 feet into the yard of a neighboring house, I chatted from my kayak with a homeowner on their back porch. Reflecting on the tide they told me, ‘Every year we watch it get higher and higher.’ These homeowners are wealthy and have the means to adapt to rising tidal levels, but less affluent communities nearby will have little option to stave off the rising water.”