The Corps and the Shore

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Overview

<p>For more than a century, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been building fortifications along the American coastline in an effort to protect our vulnerable shores. With the prospect of seaborne invasion becoming increasingly unlikely, the Corps has turned its attention to a more subtle but no less dangerous threat: the insidious effects of coastal erosion.<p>In The Corps and the Shore, Orrin H. Pilkey, the nation's most outspoken coastal geologist, and Katharine L. Dixon, an educator and activist for national coastal policy reform, provide a comprehensive examination of the impact of coastal processes on developed areas and the ways in which the Corps of Engineers has attempted to manage erosion along America's coastline.<p>Through detailed case studies of large-scale projects in Texas, Maine, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and South Carolina, the authors demonstrate the shortcomings of the Corps's underlying assumptions and methodology. As they discuss the role of local citizens in the project process, they highlight the interaction between local Corps offices and community officials and residents. By focusing on different types of problems in various regions of the country, Pilkey and Dixon clearly show how the Corps has repeatedly failed to act in the best interest of those most affected by the projects. As well as criticizing Corps practices, the authors provide numerous suggestions for reforming the Corps and making it both more scientifically accountable and more accountable to the citizens it is intended to serve.<p>The Corps and the Shore is essential reading for coastal residents, environmentalists, planners, and coastal city officials as well as geologists, civil engineers, marine scientists, and anyone concerned with the impact of human society on our shorelines.
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Editorial Reviews

New Yorker
Widely regarded as the most thorough critique of American coastal policy ever written.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The future of our shoreline, say the authors, is not in the hands of a natural resource agency but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They believe coastal scientists should be in charge. Professor of geology at Duke University Pilkey (The Beaches Are Moving, with Wallace Kaufman) and Dixon, research associate with the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, are critical of the corps and its practices. This book is an eloquent call for public debate about improving coastal management. By the 1980s, coastal scientists had recognized the destructive role of sea walls, but the engineering community had not. The National Park Service rejects shoreline engineering, and the practice is now illegal in four states. The authors examine in depth five corps projects-Folly Beach, S.C.; Sargent Beach, Tex.; Presque Isle in Lake Erie; Camp Ellis, Maine; and Oregon Inlet, N.C. They discuss the impact on beaches of winds, waves and storms, and the final chapter offers suggestions for improving the Corps' coastal science. This critique should be required reading for coast dwellers. Photos. (June)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559634397
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1998
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
The Beach: Resilient, Dynamic, Threatened
1 America and the Beach 1
2 Coastal Processes and What To Do about Them 13
3 Beaches by the Numbers 55
4 Beach Replenishment 75
5 Folly Beach: Reclaimed Heyday? 103
6 Sargent Beach, Texas 127
7 Presque Isle: The End of a Beach 145
8 Camp Ellis, Maine 173
9 Oregon Inlet, North Carolina 191
10 Politics, Science, and Engineering 219
Glossary 245
Notes 249
Suggested Readings 257
Index 265
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