Letting the Sea Have Its Way

There is no question that land is being lost to the sea — it is an inevitable part of climate change. However, as Erica Gies reports in this fascinating essay for Hakai, in some areas of the UK, the Environment Agency is not only acknowledging this — but helping the sea to win.

For that homeowner in Rodanthe, water has dictated immediate retreat from the coastline. Elsewhere around the world, people are beginning to leave coasts, usually on the heels of disasters or when they can no longer afford routine flooding or salt intrusion that fouls drinking water, kills plants, and spreads sewage.

Author: Erica Gies
Source: Hakai Magazine
Published: May 24, 2022
Length: 11 minutes (2,900 words)

The Whale Dying on the Mountain

On the “biological vibrance” of glaciers and what we stand to lose in the face of climate change.

Wolverines refrigerate kills in summer snow patches. Spiders prowl on glaciers, bears play on them, moss grows on them. More than 5,000 meters into the thin air of the Andes, the white-winged diuca finch weaves cozy nests of grass amid the aqua icicles of glacial cavities; this was the first known example of any bird other than a penguin regularly nesting on glacial ice, and it was first recorded just 10 years ago.

Source: Hakai Magazine
Published: Feb 16, 2016
Length: 14 minutes (3,700 words)

Declared Extinct, the Yaghan Rise in the Land of Fire

Jude Isabella takes a detailed look at the Indigenous people of Tierra del Fuego — people who have been described in many different ways over thousands of years.

The written record, centuries deep, becomes the narrative, limited and blinkered by the lens of a vastly different culture. There is a different story. Or, more precisely, stories.

Source: Hakai Magazine
Published: Mar 31, 2022
Length: 31 minutes (7,966 words)

Holy Mackerel, Where’d You Go?

“Now, as mackerel populations dwindle, a fish once taken for granted has stepped into a complicated spotlight, with people wondering if their decline can be reversed, or if—as once-abundant species like the Atlantic cod have done before them—mackerel will slip away for good.”

Source: Hakai Magazine
Published: Jan 18, 2022
Length: 12 minutes (3,230 words)

What Whale Barnacles Know

“Other than whale barnacles, nothing else reliably recorded the month-to-month movements of ancient whales, says Taylor. Bone tissue doesn’t care about the chemistry of the water it grew in; baleen does, but it’s hardly ever fossilized. But a well-preserved whale barnacle is the perfect time-traveling tracking device.”

Source: Hakai Magazine
Published: Nov 9, 2021
Length: 18 minutes (4,655 words)

A Humpback Whodunit

“Its flesh fed a full range of terrestrial and marine scavengers. Its fate becomes part of the known record of whale deaths along North America’s west coast, helping to inform ocean managers and enhance a greater database of long-term trends, be they related to disease, human actions, or ocean conditions. And its skeleton is likely to educate and enthrall visitors to Calvert Island for decades to come.”

Author: Larry Pynn
Source: Hakai Magazine
Published: Sep 24, 2019
Length: 10 minutes (2,600 words)

Salmon Trees

“Following the biorhythm of the bears, he began staying up all night and sleeping by day. He determined that under cover of darkness, six bears were working the stream for the biblical 40 days and 40 nights of the salmon run. As he watched them methodically hauling fish after fish into the deep bush, he conceived a whole new understanding of the flow of life between the land and the sea.”

Source: Hakai Magazine
Published: Apr 22, 2015
Length: 15 minutes (3,889 words)

The Ingenious Ancient Technology Concealed in the Shallows

But for over a generation now, the number of salmon returning to the coast of British Columbia has fallen sharply, due to more than a century of commercial fishing and development. In addition, climate change is threatening the ecosystem itself. This strikes at the heart of both Indigenous communities and society as a whole. If not the continued return of the salmon, what will the future bring?


Source: Hakai Magazine
Published: Aug 3, 2021
Length: 14 minutes (3,500 words)

Survivor: Salmon Edition

“If we can’t find a way to slow the pace of climate change and give Pacific salmon a chance to adapt to the brave new world of the Anthropocene, then we might all have to get used to the idea of fewer Pacific salmon species in the world.”

Source: Hakai Magazine
Published: Jul 6, 2021
Length: 20 minutes (5,012 words)

Three Days in the Theater of Old-Growth Logging and Protest

“A drama 150 years in the making is playing out as logging companies and police clash with First Nations and protesters over one of British Columbia’s last remaining stands of unprotected old-growth forest.”

Source: Hakai Magazine
Published: Jun 1, 2021
Length: 24 minutes (6,100 words)