The Atlantic Coast: A Natural History

The Atlantic Coast: A Natural History

by Harry Thurston
     
 

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The North Atlantic coast of North America—commonly known as the Atlantic Coast—extends from Newfoundland and Labrador through the Maritime Provinces and the Northeastern United States south to Cape Hatteras. This North Atlantic region belongs to the sea. The maritime influence on climate, flora, and fauna is dominant — even far inland. Both on land

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Overview

The North Atlantic coast of North America—commonly known as the Atlantic Coast—extends from Newfoundland and Labrador through the Maritime Provinces and the Northeastern United States south to Cape Hatteras. This North Atlantic region belongs to the sea. The maritime influence on climate, flora, and fauna is dominant — even far inland. Both on land and at sea, this region is where north meets south, where the great northern boreal forests intermingle with the southern coniferous-hardwood forests, and where the icy Labrador Current and the tropical Gulf Stream vie for supremacy and eventually mix. The Atlantic Coast draws upon the best and most up-to-date science on the ecology of the region as well as the author’s lifetime experience as a resident, biologist, and naturalist. The book explores the geological origins of the region, the two major forest realms, and the main freshwater and marine ecosystems, and describes the flora and fauna that characterize each habitat. It ends with a look at what has been lost and how the remaining natural heritage of the region might be conserved for the future.

Published in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Award-winning poet and environmental journalist Thurston (A Place Between the Tides) narrates the natural history of the Atlantic coast—the stretch of land from the glaciers of Nova Scotia to the barrier islands of the American South—and details the rich biological diversity that coexists with four of the country’s biggest cities. Mixing observations, in-depth research, and vivid prose, Thurston explores the region’s geologic, ecologic, and cultural history, from the plate tectonics that created the landscape millions of years ago to the recent legislation protecting the degraded waterways of the east coast. Barrett’s gorgeous color photographs of land, sea, and sky supplement Thurston’s vivid descriptions, reminding us of our country’s great beauty. Thurston’s account emphasizes the interconnectedness of all things and warns against the “cascade effect,” in which specific occasions of species extinction or habitat destruction can have disastrous impact on the overall health of the environment. The wealth of resources that brought settlers to the Americas is now threatened by overconsumption, pollution, human encroachment, and climate change. By illuminating the relationships between organisms and their environment, Thurston hopes to instill a better understanding of our role in the Atlantic ecosystem and, hopefully, inspire the will to protect it. Agent: Dean Cooke, the Cooke Agency. (Apr.)
From the Publisher

"[Thurston's] definition of “Atlantic Coast” encompasses more than the region south of the Gulf of Maine. And that is good …By ignoring political boundaries in favor of natural divisions, Mr. Thurston paints a clearer picture of the plants and animals of the region, the ecological niches they inhabit and the problems tormenting them."— New York Times

"Mixing observations, in-depth research, and vivid prose, Thurston explores the region’s geologic, ecologic, and cultural history, …[and] Barrett’s gorgeous color photographs of land, sea, and sky supplement Thurston’s vivid descriptions"—Publishers Weekly

“Harry Thurston is the best naturalist/writer in the Maritimes (and probably well beyond) and any book by him is well worth the read. This one is an especially valuable addition to anyone’s library, and a veritable fount of knowledge about the wildlife of the Atlantic Coast and about that world itself.”
—Farley Mowat

A wonderful portrait of a key region of our world. With evocative writing and scientific rigour, Harry Thurston takes us from the deep time of drifting continents to the environmental challenge of today.”
—Ronald Wright, author of A Short History of Progress

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781553654469
Publisher:
Greystone Books
Publication date:
04/10/2012
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
1,380,861
Product dimensions:
7.84(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.08(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"[Thurston's] definition of “Atlantic Coast” encompasses more than the region south of the Gulf of Maine. And that is good …By ignoring political boundaries in favor of natural divisions, Mr. Thurston paints a clearer picture of the plants and animals of the region, the ecological niches they inhabit and the problems tormenting them."— New York Times

"Mixing observations, in-depth research, and vivid prose, Thurston explores the region’s geologic, ecologic, and cultural history, …[and] Barrett’s gorgeous color photographs of land, sea, and sky supplement Thurston’s vivid descriptions"—Publishers Weekly

“Harry Thurston is the best naturalist/writer in the Maritimes (and probably well beyond) and any book by him is well worth the read. This one is an especially valuable addition to anyone’s library, and a veritable fount of knowledge about the wildlife of the Atlantic Coast and about that world itself.”
—Farley Mowat

A wonderful portrait of a key region of our world. With evocative writing and scientific rigour, Harry Thurston takes us from the deep time of drifting continents to the environmental challenge of today.”
—Ronald Wright, author of A Short History of Progress

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