Cumberland Island is a barrier island about the size of Manhattan, located off the coast of Georgia. The island is one of seven Atlantic Coast national seashores, and a part of the national park system. Unlike most other barrier islands of the Southeastern United States, Cumberland has escaped wide-scale development through expansive yet politically divisive preservation efforts to conserve the island in perpetuity. Cumberland Island is an ecological treasure comprised of three distinct ecosystems within its small geographic area: marsh, maritime forest, and beach, as well as many varied transition areas between these three ecosystems.
Like all coastal areas, the Atlantic Coast national seashores are incredibly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and some of the most acutely threatened parks in the national park system. In 2016, during the national parks centennial, I undertook with two collaborators (photographer Emily J. Gómez and sound artist and sculptor Ernesto Gomez), a multi-year project to document the unique biome of Cumberland Island. With this project, we hope to expand the existing photographic documentation of Cumberland Island in order to increase awareness of its significance and fragility, as well as to provide a record for future generations, should the island be lost or irrevocably altered due to climate change. More information about Cumberland Island can be found on the NPS web site.