The Disappearing Islands of the Chesapeake

Overview

Scientists estimate that, until 1900, the water level of the Chesapeake Bay rose at the rate of three feet every thousand years. Alarmingly enough, the bay rose by one foot in the twentieth century alone, and for evidence of this dramatic change one need only observe the effects of rising water on the islands of the Chesapeake Bay, which slowly are slipping from sight.

A retired oceanographer who first conducted research on the bay in the 1950s, William B. Cronin here supplies a...

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Overview

Scientists estimate that, until 1900, the water level of the Chesapeake Bay rose at the rate of three feet every thousand years. Alarmingly enough, the bay rose by one foot in the twentieth century alone, and for evidence of this dramatic change one need only observe the effects of rising water on the islands of the Chesapeake Bay, which slowly are slipping from sight.

A retired oceanographer who first conducted research on the bay in the 1950s, William B. Cronin here supplies a survey of the changing fortunes of these forty-odd islands, from Garrett in the north to Gwynn and James islands to the south. Cronin's historical and scientific tour outlines their erosion, their loss of marshland, and the rich if changing human experience they have supported for generations. He draws on imagery that includes the work of celebrated local photographer A. Aubrey Bodine, colonial and state records, newspaper pieces, and his own personal and professional experience.

Historic nautical charts, compared to current data from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, leave no doubt of the crisis many of the islands face. On one, Holland, rising water in the late 1910s forced townspeople to move their houses by barge to the mainland. On another, Barren, a sizable hunting lodge housed guests as late as the 1970s but by 1985 had become a wreck beneath the water. An appendix documents the many small islands that have dropped entirely from view since the seventeenth century.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Delmarva Quarterly

A formidable research effort, Disappearing Islands of the Chesapeake makes for hours of escapist perusal by armchair mariners.

Bay Weekly
I guarantee you will not lose interest as he isle-hops... touching more than 40 in all—and all disappearing.

— Bill Burton

Baltimore Magazine

Cronin tells an engaging story that's richly underscored by an abundance of vintage maps and archival photographs.

Easton Star Democrat
This is very probably the definitive book about the Chesapeake Bay Islands, especially those that are gone with the erosion.

— John Goodspeed

The Mariner
Time, tide, storms and resulting erosion are the enemies... making Cronin's book a valuable resource for future generations.

— Jackie Nickel

Johns Hopkins Magazine
An island-by-island chronicle of the bay that documents the islands' earliest native and non-native American settlers.. and their current fate.

— Catherine Pierre

Bay Weekly - Bill Burton

I guarantee you will not lose interest as he isle-hops... touching more than 40 in all—and all disappearing.

Easton Star Democrat - John Goodspeed

This is very probably the definitive book about the Chesapeake Bay Islands, especially those that are gone with the erosion.

The Mariner - Jackie Nickel

Time, tide, storms and resulting erosion are the enemies... making Cronin's book a valuable resource for future generations.

Johns Hopkins Magazine - Catherine Pierre

An island-by-island chronicle of the bay that documents the islands' earliest native and non-native American settlers.. and their current fate.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801874352
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 5/13/2005
  • Edition description: 20
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 695,201
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

William B. Cronin spent his career with the Johns Hopkins Chesapeake Bay Institute, over the years contributing many articles to Chesapeake Bay Magazine.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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