5/13/2013

Drift Logs Important For Beaches

Beaches on the Pacific coast are littered with bleached drift wood

Drift logs are important parts of beaches all along the Pacific coast.

The banner at the top of this blog is a photo that was taken on a beach in nearby Washington state. When the photo was taken the mammoth drift log was newly arrived on the beach and was still dark and hydrated.

After a while on beaches on the coast, drift logs age to a beautiful sun-bleached white-ish grey colour. The picture at the top of this post is of the very same drift log used for my banner, except the log has been desiccated by summertime sunny days.

But drift logs are good for more than having fun looking at them and climbing upon their prone trunks.


Drift logs closer to home on French Beach near Sooke
Often drift logs have sawn ends, an indication they are escapees from log booms or other logging operations. Regardless of their origin, drift wood acts as an important stabilizer of beaches.

In the winter these logs are tossed like tiny toothpicks by high tides and pounding waves. In the summer they settle into place and trap sand and organic material. This maintains the beach structure and provides habitat for all manner of living things.

In this way, the trees continue to do work even as they slowly decompose back into the environment.


Drift log near my home shows evidence of logging

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