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The Last Beach by Orrin H. Pilkey Jr.
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The Last Beach

by Orrin H. Pilkey Jr.

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Save our shores

The Last Beach by Orrin H. Pilkey, Jr., and J. Andrew G. Cooper (Duke University Press, $19.95).

Everybody loves a walk on the beach. Unfortunately, some of our favorite sandy spots may not be around much longer. Truth be told, you’ve probably already noticed changes along your favorite shores, though some are in much worse shape than others.

In The Last Beach, Orrin H. Pilkey, Jr., and J. Andrew G. Cooper, who have written on shoreline ecosystems and preservation together and separately, detail the threats to our shores and coastlines from development, rising sea levels, more devastating storms linked to climate change, and, ironically, the very seawalls and jetties designed to protect beaches.

In a comprehensive—and understandable for the non-oceanographer—overview of the state of the world’s shores is a call to action, as well: Unless we protect our shores as the treasures that they are, with unique and irreplaceable resources and ecosystems, before long, no one will be building castles in the sand.

Reviewed on Lit/Rant: www.litrant.tumblr.com ( )
  KelMunger | Feb 13, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0822358093, Paperback)

The Last Beach is an urgent call to save the world's beaches while there is still time. The geologists Orrin H. Pilkey and J. Andrew G. Cooper sound the alarm in this frank assessment of our current relationship with beaches and their grim future if we do not change the way we understand and treat our irreplaceable shores. Combining case studies and anecdotes from around the world, they argue that many of the world's developed beaches, including some in Florida and in Spain, are virtually doomed and that we must act immediately to save imperiled beaches.

After explaining beaches as dynamic ecosystems, Pilkey and Cooper assess the harm done by dense oceanfront development accompanied by the construction of massive seawalls to protect new buildings from a shoreline that encroaches as sea levels rise. They discuss the toll taken by sand mining, trash that washes up on beaches, and pollution, which has contaminated not only the water but also, surprisingly, the sand. Acknowledging the challenge of reconciling our actions with our love of beaches, the geologists offer suggestions for reversing course, insisting that given the space, beaches can take care of themselves and provide us with multiple benefits.beaches can take care of themselves and provide us with multiple benefits.
 

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:00 -0400)

"The Last Beach is an urgent call to save the world's beaches while there is still time. The geologists Orrin H. Pilkey and J. Andrew G. Cooper sound the alarm in this frank assessment of our current relationship with beaches and their grim future if we do not change the way we understand and treat our irreplaceable shores. Combining case studies and anecdotes from around the world, they argue that many of the world's developed beaches, including some in Florida and in Spain, are virtually doomed and that we must act immediately to save imperiled beaches. After explaining beaches as dynamic ecosystems, Pilkey and Cooper assess the harm done by dense oceanfront development accompanied by the construction of massive seawalls to protect new buildings from a shoreline that encroaches as sea levels rise. They discuss the toll taken by sand mining, trash that washes up on beaches, and pollution, which has contaminated not only the water but also, surprisingly, the sand. Acknowledging the challenge of reconciling our actions with our love of beaches, the geologists offer suggestions for reversing course, insisting that given the space, beaches can take care of themselves and provide us with multiple benefits." -- Publisher's description.… (more)

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