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Against the Tide



by Cornelia Dean

An eloquent, forceful plea to save America's rapidly eroding beaches and coastline, this revelatory and disturbing report from the science editor of the New York Times is reminiscent of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring...

(Review from Publishers Weekly) In Against the Tide, Cornelia Dean, science editor of The New York Times, outlines the global coastal management crisis and all the elaborate engineering methods developed to stave off erosion-- revetments, sand-trapping devices, seawalls, groins and jetties ...


In clear, journalistic style, she explains how all of these devices have failed to stop the inexorable march of the sea...

From the motels and T-shirt shops of beachless Florida "beach towns" to Los Angeles County, most of whose beaches are artificial, the story Dean tells is the same. People build on unstable landforms, then attempt to avoid the inevitable consequences through quick technological fixes: concrete seawalls, artificial reefs, sand-trapping steel groins, jetties, underground "dewatering" systems of pipes and pumps, etc. These techno-fixes may prolong the life of coastal buildings, but they usually accelerate erosion and environmental degradation...

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