Shadows on the Gulf: A Journey Through Our Last Great Wetland

Overview

While other books play the blame game of what went wrong on the Deepwater Horizon and who is responsible, Shadows on the Gulf offers a surprising, harder truth: As bad as the oil spill was, it doesn't touch the damage done to the Gulf every year by what one expert in the book calls "a 100-year catastrophe."

Readers who believe they know the story will find their thinking changed by Rowan Jacobsen's surprising perspective: At the height of BP's dispersant madness, the amount ...

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Shadows on the Gulf: A Journey Through Our Last Great Wetland

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Overview

While other books play the blame game of what went wrong on the Deepwater Horizon and who is responsible, Shadows on the Gulf offers a surprising, harder truth: As bad as the oil spill was, it doesn't touch the damage done to the Gulf every year by what one expert in the book calls "a 100-year catastrophe."

Readers who believe they know the story will find their thinking changed by Rowan Jacobsen's surprising perspective: At the height of BP's dispersant madness, the amount sprayed each day merely equaled the amount of dispersant that washes down the Mississippi from the Heartland's dishwashers and washing machines. The Gulf's shrimpers have damaged the region's ecology as much as BP has. The acres of marsh destroyed by oil slicks can't compare to the amount that disappears in every hurricane, thanks to the work of the Army Corp of Engineers. And even if we save every mile of beach and wetland from the oil spill, the entire Mississippi Delta will still be lost in the next forty years, and New Orleans will sink beneath the waves, an American Atlantis.

Shadows on the Gulf reveals the key players in this catastrophe and explains why it will affect quality of life for us all. In doing so, it celebrates the little-recognized global wonder in our backyard. Not only are the Gulf's wetlands the best oyster reefs and fish nurseries in the world, they also provide critical habitat to most of America's migratory songbirds and waterfowl, as well as a home base for the energy and shipping industries. If the Gulf is allowed to fail, the effects will ripple across America. And fail it will, unless a national effort is made to save it.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
James Beard Award winner Jacobsen, whose American Terroir was a 2010 LJ Best Book, examines the Gulf region in his brilliant new work. While the Deepwater Horizon disaster was the initial impetus behind this book, it becomes quite apparent, as Jacobsen dives into the region's history, that the BP spill was just the latest in a long list of environmental injustices committed against the Gulf and its inhabitants. Jacobsen intertwines the customs, stories, and ways of life of the local people through his natural history of the region and descriptions of its bayous, plants, and animals, painting a full picture of how the area has been affected by the various devastations and detrimental "improvements" over the past few decades. The wonderfully vivid descriptions of the landscape will place readers right by Jacobsen's side as he describes the changes to the biodiversity, environment, and culture of the Gulf region. VERDICT This engrossing work will be of great interest to researchers, students, and general readers; an excellent resource for all library collections.—Kyrille Goldbeck, Virginia Polytechnic Inst. & State Univ. Lib., Blacksburg
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608195817
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 4/26/2011
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 987,048
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Rowan Jacobsen is the James Beard Award- winning author of

A Geography of Oysters, Fruitless Fall, The Living Shore, and

American Terroir. He has written about food,

place, and the natural world for Harper's,

Newsweek, Eating Well, and others, and his commentaries on the Gulf crisis have appeared in

Outside magazine and the New York Times and on MSNBC. He was raised in Florida and attended school on the Gulf Coast.

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