Of note to patriots: the ocean appears to be robbing the USA of land. Diminishment. The coast is eroding here at a rate of at least one and a half meters per year. A little further south, the rate is closer to seven meters each year. For the whole stretch of coast on St Catherine’s Island, only one or two small areas are accreting (growing), the rest is in retreat. Damming of rivers and dredging of sea ports starve the beach of new material. This, combined with a rising sea level, results in loss of land.
Erosion first exposes the roots of palms, live oaks and other shoreline vegetation, then topples the trees, leaving picturesque “boneyards.”
Coastal erosion is underway over much of the eastern shore of the continent. Huge areas of land are lost from the Mississippi delta every year. How does all this add up? Does erosion outpace accretion on a country-wide level? Certainly as the world warms, it will. But is the USA smaller today than it was in 1776? The answer is hard to come by, but it seems that for the last few decades at least: yes, shrinkage is occurring.