Plum Island is mostly a national wildlife refuge. It’s a long, narrow spit of sand 50 miles north of Boston.
You can see evidence of climate change past and present there, and get a glimpse of the future.
The island was created by climate change. Over millions of years, natural forces made the planet a lot colder and the ocean sea level a lot lower.
Nowadays, it’s hard to believe Plum Island was once buried under half a mile of ice. Eleven thousand years ago, the glacier began receding, leaving a scarred landscape that was sculptured by wind, waves and currents into today’s barrier island beach.
Parker Jones, a frequent visitor to Plum Island, lives in nearby Newburyport. It’s one of four Massachusetts towns protected by the 11-mile-long barrier island.