The Washington State Department of Ecology says the fastest erosion on the West Coast is happening at aptly named Washaway Beach — located between the southwest Washington towns of Grayland and Tokeland.

Most places threatened by erosion try to fight back. But the erosion at Washaway Beach is so rapid, the question now is to fight — or retreat.

First the ocean took a clam cannery. Then a lighthouse, a Coast Guard station and homes slipped into the waves. Then the ocean washed away the cove that gave the community of North Cove its name. The coastal erosion at this spot has been unstoppable for decades. The school succumbed. Then the Grange hall, a post office and more and more homes.