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Against the Tide: The Battle for America's Beaches by Cornelia Dean

By Cornelia Dean

Americans like to colonize their seashores. but if storms threaten, high-ticket beachfront building normally takes priority over coastal environmental issues -- we rescue the structures, now not the shorelines. As Cornelia Dean explains in opposed to the Tide, this trend is resulting in the fast destruction of our coast. yet her eloquent account additionally bargains sound suggestion for salvaging the stretches of pristine American shore that remain.The tale starts with the story of the devastating typhoon that struck Galveston, Texas, in 1900 -- the deadliest ordinary catastrophe in American heritage, which killed a few six thousand humans. faulty citizens developed a wall to avoid one other tragedy, however the barrier ruined the seashore and eventually destroyed the town's booming inn enterprise. From harrowing bills of traditional failures to lucid ecological factors of common coastal methods, from studies of human interference and development at the shore to clear-eyed elucidation of public coverage and conservation pursuits, this publication illustrates in wealthy aspect the conflicting pursuits, non permanent responses, and long-range imperatives which have been the hallmarks of America's love affair along with her coast.Intriguing observations approximately America's shorelines, earlier and current, comprise discussions of storm Andrew's attack at the Gulf Coast, the 1962 northeaster that ravaged a thousand miles of the Atlantic shore, the beleaguered shorelines of latest Jersey and North Carolina's speedily vanishing Outer Banks, and the sand-starved coast of southern California. Dean offers dozens of examples of human makes an attempt to tame the sea -- in addition to a wealth of lucid descriptions of the ocean's counterattack. Readers will take pleasure in opposed to the Tide's painless direction in coastal tactics and new point of view at the seashore.

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Later in the day, he found another monument at the edge of what is now the driveway of another cottage. The concrete rose out of the ground at an angle (“someone evidently backed over the monument,” Leatherman observed), and its brass plaque had been knocked off. This is why the scientists who use the monuments strive to keep them unobtrusive. “People like to destroy them or take them as souvenirs,” Leatherman said. ” But now there were six gray cottages with green shutters on the old dirt road.

Retracing his graduate school path, Leatherman was following again in the footsteps of one of America’s first coastal surveyors, Henry L. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey more than one hundred years ago. Accompanied by two observers, two recorders, and a crew of surf-boatmen, Marindin spent the warm months of 1887, 1888, and 1889 mapping the Atlantic coast of the Outer Cape. He and his assistants conducted elaborate surveys along more than two hundred parallel lines starting well inland and running over the cliffs, dunes, and beaches and out into the ocean.

Though the malign effects of sand-trapping efforts differ, they share the same weakness: they do not add sand to an eroding coast. Instead, they usually work by stealing sand destined for someone else’s beach. Groin construction is the most common—and possibly the least understood—method of sand-trapping or stabilization. Groins, especially the ones built ad hoc, without benefit of engineering, can be quick, relatively cheap, and effective solutions, at least for the person who installs them. They may be built of timber, steel, concrete, rock, or other materials.

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