Our beaches are eroding, sinking, washing out right under our houses, hotels, bridges; vacation dreamlands become nightmare scenes of futile revetments, fills, groins, what have you—all thrown up in a frantic defense against the natural system. The romantic desire to live on the seashore is in doomed conflict with an age-old pattern of beach migration. Yet it need not be so. Conservationist Wallace Kaufman teams up with marine geologist Orrin H. Pilkey Jr., in an evaluation of America's beaches from coast to coast, giving sound advice on how to judge a safe beach development from a dangerous one and how to live at the shore sensibly and safely.
After explaining the greenhouse effect, Pilkey, writing with son Keith, turns to the damage it is causing: sea level rise, ocean acidification, glacier and sea ice melting, changing habitats, desertification, and the threats to animals, humans, coral reefs, marshes, and mangroves. These explanations are accompanied by Mary Edna Fraser’s stunning batiks depicting the large-scale arenas in which climate change plays out.
The Pilkeys directly confront and rebut arguments typically advanced by global change deniers. Particularly valuable are their discussions of “Climategate,” a manufactured scandal that undermined respect for the scientific community, and the denial campaigns by the fossil fuel industry, which they compare to the tactics used by the tobacco companies a generation ago to obfuscate findings on the harm caused by cigarettes.
Living by the Rules of the Sea is a primer for people living along the nation's coastlines, those considering moving to the coast, or those who want a greater understanding of the risks and dangers posed by living at the seacoast. Published as part of Duke University Press's Living with the Shore series, but without a direct focus on the coastline of one particular state, this book is intended as an overall guide to coastal physical processes, risk assessment of potential property damage from coastal natural hazards, and property damage mitigation.
Over the past twenty years, the authors have mapped and studied most of the barrier islands in the United States and have experienced coastal processes such as storms and shoreline retreat at close range. They represent a coastal geology/oceanographic perspective that is decidedly in favor of preserving the natural protective capabilities of the native coastal environment. While strongly anti-engineering in outlook, Living by the Rules of the Sea does provide a review of coastal engineering techniques. It also examines methods of repairing damage to the natural environment that lessen the prospect of further property damage. Finally, it employs a more inclusive "coastal zone" approach rather than simply concentrating on a more narrowly defined shoreline. Barrier islands are viewed as part of a larger system in which changes in one part of the system—for example, the mining of sand dunes or dredging offshore for beach replenishment sand—can have profound effects on another part of the system, predictable effects even though they may not be visible for years or decades.
A comprehensive handbook with references to recent storms including hurricanes Andrew, Gilbert, Hugo, Emily, and Opal, Living by the Rules of the Sea is designed to help people make better and more informed choices about where or if to live at the coast.
The Gulf coast of Florida and Alabama is a fragile combination of barrier islands, low-lying marshes, and highly erodable mainland shores. In addition to sea-level rise, winter storms, and altered sediment supplies, hurricanes frequently damage or destroy the human developments and infrastructures that line this coast. Indeed, a single storm can cause billions of dollars in losses. Memories of such hurricanes as Camille, Frederic, Opal, and Andrew cause great concern for residents and property owners alike; events of equal magnitude are always just beyond the horizon and the uninformed have much to lose.
The authors of Living on the Edge of the Gulf seek to counteract potential loss by providing an illustrated introduction to coastal processes, a history of hazards for the region, and risk-reduction guidance in the form of site evaluations, community mitigation techniques, and storm-resistant construction practices. Risk maps that focus on individual coastal beaches are designed to assist property owners, community planners, and officials in prudent decision making, while a review of coastal regulations helps owners to understand and navigate various permit requirements.
This latest book in the Living with the Shore series replaces the earlier guide Living with the West Florida Shore and supplements the Alabama portion of Living with the Alabama/Mississippi Shore.
From Amelia Island just south of Georgia to Key West's southern tip, beaches are one of Florida's greatest assets. Yet these beaches are in danger: rapid structural development on a highly erodible coast make them vulnerable to some of nature's greatest storms. The same development that has been driven by the attraction of beautiful beaches and coastal amenities now threatens those very resources. In turn, coastal structures are at risk from sea-level rise, shoreline retreat, winter storms, and hurricanes. Most of the methods for reducing losses associated with storms protect property only in the short term—at a growing cost in dollars and loss of natural habitat in the long term.
Living with Florida's Atlantic Beaches is a guide to mitigating or reducing losses of property, human life, and natural resources by living with, rather than just at, the shore. This illustrated volume provides an introduction to coastal processes and geology as well as a brief history of coastal hazards and short-sighted human responses. This is the first volume in the Living with the Shore series to discuss the significant long-term impact of dredge-and-fill beach construction on living marine resources. Guidance is provided for long-term risk reduction in the form of tips on storm-resistant construction and site evaluation; maps for evaluating relative vulnerability to hazards are also included. A brief review of coastal regulations will help property owners understand and navigate the various permit requirements for developing coastal property. Living with Florida's Atlantic Beaches is an invaluable source of information for everyone from the curious beach visitor to the community planner, from the prudent property investor to the decision-making public official.
The south shore of Long Island, one of New York's greatest recreational assets, is receding at the rate of up to six feet per year. In many cases, efforts to halt this erosion actually have increased it. Buildings cone thought safely constructed back from high tidemarks today protrude far into the water.
Even more, the number of homes an facilities built too close to the sea's edge has dramatically increased, making the south shore probably less ready to withstand a major storm than at the time of the cataclysmic hurricane of 1938.
Thus, the question of what to do now to overcome and avoid these hazards takes on real urgency. Pointing to past mistakes, many Long Islanders insist that only by acting in an informed reasonable way can safe and environmentally sound development be possible for everyone.
Yet this same serene shoreline has been ravaged by seven major hurricanes during this century. Several years more than one fearful storm has come hurtling in during a single "season." Loss of life an property damage have been devastating. And newcomers seem almost unaware of the potential dangers.
The authors of this book offer a vivid, historical overview for understanding the environment of the Alabama-Mississippi shore. They describe the risks faced by new residents, and they point the way toward safe and sane coastal development.
Facing two oceans and three seas, Alaska's coastline stretches through bays, fjords, and around islands for 45,000 miles. Living with the Coast of Alaska, a new volume in the Living with the Shore series, is a user's guide for both present and future inhabitants of Alaska. Providing individual property owners in all regions of the state with the fundamentals of hazard recognition and mitigation strategy, the authors discuss the geological history of Alaska and its relation to the area's cultural history and present customized hazard risk assessments for coastal communities.
Describing the dynamic nature of natural seismic events and coastal processes in Alaska, the authors emphasize the multiplicity of potential effects that result from a unique combination of geology, climate, and the sea. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami waves, avalanches, glacial advances, storm surges, flash flooding, wind channeling, and shoreline erosion combined with human-induced hazards such as oil spills, fire, and beach and offshore mining accidents make living with danger a way of life in Alaska. The authors provide information on federal and state laws and programs regarding natural disasters and coastal zone management as well as practical suggestions for the design and construction of buildings. For private, commercial, and public developments, this book offers a manual to help Alaskans make informed decisions to minimize, if not avoid, damage and danger.
More than one transplanted Floridian has paid $150,000 for a beautiful condominium with a sea view only to learn that, to keep the building from becoming part of the view, considerable additional money must be spent to build and repair seawalls or to pump up new beaches by dredging sand from offshore.
Most of Florida's beachfront property lies on narrow strips of sand called barrier islands, which are low in elevation and subject to flooding during storms and hurricanes. Some of the construction is poor, adding to the problems facing homeowners, most whom came from other parts of the country with little awareness of the hazards of beaches. In Living with the East Florida Shore, Orrin H. Pilkey, Jr., of Duke University, along with his co-authors, has described the varied problems that confront the east shore of Florida today.
The idea that predictive science can simplify the decision-making process by creating a clearer picture of the future is deeply appealing in principle, but deeply problematic in practice.
Prediction offers a fascinating and wide-ranging look at the interdependent scientific, political, and social factors involved in using science-based predictions to guide policy making. Through ten detailed case studies, it explores society's efforts to generate reliable scientific information about complex natural systems and to use that information in making sound policy decisions. The book:
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