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Heather Wholey
West Chester University of Pennsylvania (West Chester, PA 19383-0001)
Cultural Heritage Futures: Narrating Loss and Legacy along the Delaware Bay

Development of an interactive digital map combining environmental and archaeological data from around the Delaware Bay.

Climate driven sea level rise (SLR) threatens cultural heritage resources in coastal areas. The Delaware Estuary is the second largest on the U.S. Atlantic coast and is experiencing some of the gravest effects from SLR along the eastern seaboard. Archaeological and historical evidence reveal the area’s rich heritage, including thousands of years of Native American occupations; 17th century Swedish and Dutch settlements; a colonial maritime tradition; early18th century resort towns; and, extant World War II defensive installations. The shoreline is fringed by salt marshes, which are being assaulted by storm surge, and converted into mudflats or open water at an alarming rate. The Delaware Bay Climate and Archaeology project has yielded decadal level, site specific projections of SLR threats until the year 2100. This project will use maps, photographs and digital reconstructions to translate science-driven research into a humanities-oriented visual narrative of compelling case studies.

Project fields:

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/25/2021 – 3/25/2021