Craney Island
#Studios / Post-Natural Ecologies / Rob Holmes / NCR-MLA Program / Virginia Tech / Fall 2011

Situated at the confluence of the Elizabeth and the James Rivers, Craney Island is a tangle of contradictions. It is both the primary dumping point for sediments collected in the dredging of Hampton Roads, and maintained as a critical nesting habitat for beach nesting birds; it is both a favored site for Audobon Society bird-watchers, and home to the highly secure Craney Island Fuel Terminal — the Navy’s largest US fuel facility.

The ecology of an industrial site like Craney Island arises from a spectacular menagerie of influences: seeds hitching rides on globe-trotting container ships; birds flying north and south along the Atlantic flyway; pre-existing native communities of mollusks, fish, and other fauna; the constant disturbance produced by industrial dredge-dumping regimens; and so on.

This studio considered topics like: the value (ecological, economic, cultural) and futures of these post-natural ecologies; industrial processes as anthropogenic analogs to geological processes; public access; and the local infrastructure of global commerce.

 


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Craney Island
#Studios
Post-Natural Ecologies
Rob Holmes
NCR-MLA Program
Virginia Tech
Fall 2011

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