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

By Cornelia Dean

Americans like to colonize their shores. but if storms threaten, high-ticket beachfront building constantly takes priority over coastal environmental issues -- we rescue the structures, no longer the shores. As Cornelia Dean explains in opposed to the Tide, this development is resulting in the quick destruction of our coast. yet her eloquent account additionally deals sound suggestion for salvaging the stretches of pristine American shore that remain.The tale starts with the story of the devastating storm that struck Galveston, Texas, in 1900 -- the deadliest normal catastrophe in American background, which killed a few six thousand humans. erroneous citizens developed a wall to avoid one other tragedy, however the barrier ruined the seashore and eventually destroyed the town's booming inn company. From harrowing debts of traditional mess ups to lucid ecological factors of traditional coastal approaches, from studies of human interference and development at the shore to clear-eyed elucidation of public coverage and conservation pursuits, this booklet illustrates in wealthy element the conflicting pursuits, momentary responses, and long-range imperatives which were the hallmarks of America's love affair along with her coast.Intriguing observations approximately America's shores, previous and current, contain discussions of typhoon Andrew's attack at the Gulf Coast, the 1962 northeaster that ravaged a thousand miles of the Atlantic shore, the beleaguered seashores of latest Jersey and North Carolina's swiftly vanishing Outer Banks, and the sand-starved coast of southern California. Dean presents 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 path in coastal approaches and new point of view at the seashore.

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In the immediate vicinity of structures or . . along adjacent shorelines sometimes miles away. 3. Most shoreline stabilization projects protect property, not beaches. The protected property belongs to a few individuals relative to the number of Americans who use beaches. If left alone, beaches will always be present, even if they are moving landward. 4. The cost of saving beach property by stabilization is very high. Often it is greater than the value of the property to be saved especially if long range costs are considered.

The first phase of the project began in 1964 but, in a crucial mistake that would haunt the area for decades, the work did not start as planned at the west end, where groins would trap sand that had already passed across the island. Instead, at the insistence of influential shorefront property owners, the project began in the east, with the first eleven groins constructed in the middle of Westhampton Beach. 1 2 Groins trap sand moving in the littoral drift, helping some beachfront property owners but robbing others of sand.

Two storms in the 1930s changed all that. One, in 1931, cut an inlet across the barrier island about halfway along the South Shore between Montauk and Manhattan. Left to itself, this inlet might have closed naturally, and the natural flow of sediment would have resumed. But the new inlet offered valuable access to the ocean, so dredgers and jetty-builders kept it open. Moriches Inlet became a permanent part of the Long Island landscape, and the westward flow of the river of sand was blocked. Seven years later, the great hurricane of 1938 cut another inlet, between Moriches Inlet and the Montauk cliffs.

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