Thursday, August 9 – Tidally United Conference –
We were able to get out for the Tidally United Conference opening event: What We Gain from Heritage and What We Might Lose from Rising Sea Levels. This discussion between Professor Uzi Baram and Vicki Oldham, Researcher and Community Activist covered a range of social and ecological topics critical to the present threat of rising sea levels in the atmosphere of the currently proclaimed Anthropocene Era. Hosted by the Florida Public Archaeology Network and the New College Public Archaeology Lab, the conference stated its aim ‘to engage participants to consider solutions to the threats posed by rising sea levels and climate changes to coastal heritage sites in Florida.’ The discussion was engaging and we would have liked to attend more of the presentations. We could not as our workshop at the Bay Preserve at Osprey was the following day.
Arriving a little early, we walked around the grounds of the New College of Florida and had a look at the amazing Caples Hall, a beautiful, if dilapidated property in back of the College. The grounds lead to the seashore and a sailing program is offered on the adjoining property. Sadly enough, when the conference opened, Florida’s Red Tide was full blown and fish were continuing to wash up on the beaches, adding a further element of urgency to the major issues to be addressed during the conference. We noticed ventilation fans were expelling air from the basement of Caples Hall but when we spoke with Professor Baram, he mentioned that as the building is sinking on its base, there is not much hope in finding the means to restore the property.