Having just entered about 50 years of data on Lummi Island into the ‘Mother of All Spreadsheets’ on Excel, It occurs to me we can easily document what happened to us, but figuring out why is quite a different matter. Here’s a quick, napkin variety, graph depicting some of what I’m trying to explain.
As you can see,while population is increasing, we’re growing older at astounding rates. In the last 20 years, we went from an average age of 35 to 55, essentially having retirees displacing working families with children. What effect will the Baby Boomers have on this in the next 20 years? Is that another Boom/Bust cycle?
Climate change will effect low lying coastal areas of the Eastern Seaboard much more radically than for us in the Pacific NW, creating something called Climate Change Refugees. Will they march north-westward with the same determination as the ‘Dust-Bowlers’ did in Los Angeles the ’30s?
More Questions for you to ponder this morning. Is the dwindling enrollment of the Beach School reversible with the IB program, or will Ferndale School District pull a B&G Club switcheroo on us too?
What part does the ferry play in all this? The newly forming Ferry Long Range Planning Committee hopes to tackle these questions head on in the coming months to sort out why ridership peaked well before any talks about leases, recession and surcharges.
Ben Frerichs and I will be giving a talk on demographics of Lummi Island at the LICA potluck on September 24th. I hope to see you there.
Mike Skehan for the Ferry Forum