Ocean 320 Coastal Ocean and Climate Change Haiku, Winter 2022

Nearshore Bathymetry

Students were assigned readings that touched on both the impact of change in the coastal zone on people and place as well as how human activity, including climate change, is impacting the coastal zone, and how changes in the coastal zone are impacting people. The articles address four topics: mangroves, marshes, sea ice loss and erosion, and marine heatwaves.  They analyzed these readings, and then during the last day of class, collaboratively wrote haikus on their assigned topic. The last 15 minutes of class was devoted to a reading of the poems. Faculty and students alike wanted to share the results of our poetry slam. Enjoy!


By Isabelle, Christina, Yoav, Ariyanna, Allegra, Andrew

Sea Levels Up Up
Mangroves drowning bye bye
Coast Away Away

i search for mangrove
i will kill mangrove by roots
choked out the mangrove >:)

i, mangrove exist
i feel a choke and gasp, help!
i perish, plastic :(

I am a mangrove
The sea is consuming me
It takes your shore too

Mangroves protect them
Their fisheries suffer from
Plastic pollution

I search for mangroves
I attack their root systems
All mangroves must die

Mangroves, twisting roots
Saltwater mixing on coast
Shelter for many



By Anna, Jonah, Charlie, Dominic

The ice is melting
Villages inundated
Due to climate change

Big tides, big problems
Threatening coastal peoples
Ice melt feedback loop

Ice melts in Arctic
Can’t safely hunt on the ice
Altering our lives

Farewell, my sea ice
Burning water from the depth
We meet less and less


Marine Heatwaves

By Cristian, Fred, Michael, Han, Elliot, Jenn

No upwelling, mass die-offs

California coast,
Upper layer is warming,
Less wind is blowing

Stagnant surface heat
Threatening ecosystems
Boiling off fish stocks

Marine heat wave strikes
Phytoplankton live no more
Foodchain can’t keep up

A cool breeze no more.
A lush ecosystem strains.
What has happened here?

Strange temperatures
Sea surface anomaly
Is known as the blob

Temps rise rise die
Fish die i die
You die we all die

Still blob heat threatens
Primary production and 
Leads to extinction

Fish industry shrinks
Economy harmed, and
Locals affected

Toxic algal bloom
Fishing season is over
Boiled clams, good soup

I am warm water, threat
They call me da blob


Delilah, Leo, Abbey, Connor, and Alli

A warming planet
Raises the water level
Drowning the marshes.

Sea levels rising
Urban centers encroaching
Where did marshes go

Tidal marsh helpless
Entire Ecosystems
Consumed under waves

The northern marshes
Are unable to retreat,
Cornered by sea rise.

The southern marshes
Do not produce enough soil-
The region will drown.

Unable to grow
Unable to move away
So the marshes drown

Waters are rising
Wetlands need to move inland
Cities in the way

Gulf of Mexico
Particularly at risk
Of losing marshes

Sediment trapping
Coastal marshes do provide
Until walls go up

The marshes erode
The city underwater
Storm surge broke too late

Where did the fish go?
Water rise in the marshes
Threatens nurseries

Tiny fish, crucial
For growing fishery needs
Now vulnerable

Town planners need to
Plan for space for our wetlands
Else we cannot fish