Closed Sea: From the Manasquan to the Mullica: A History of Barnegat Bay

Closed Sea: From the Manasquan to the Mullica: A History of Barnegat Bay

by Kent Mountford


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Closed Sea: From the Manasquan to the Mullica: A History of Barnegat Bay by Kent Mountford

A history of the Barnegat Bay region, Closed Sea weaves a colorful tale of whalers and pirates, Revolutionary patriots and loyalists, fishermen, sportsmen, iron masters and life saving crews. Filled with historical anecdote and keen observations of sea and shore, it is a compelling portrait of a unique place and its history.

You will follow the earliest explorers as they first set eyes upon the pristine bay, the Dutch and British settlers who came after them and the intrigue and battles of the "Colonial Rebellion". You will meet whalers who migrated from New England to New Jersey's coastal waters, and many others who harvested the sea's various bounty. You will go with the men of the Life Saving Service into the icy, treacherous surf of a winter storm. Accounts of shipwrecks and of pirate treasure buried on barrier beaches alternate with tales of the Pine Barrens, a place you will visit when it was a thriving center of 18th century industry. And, finally, you will join the early summer vacationers for rollicking times in the first guest houses of Long Beach Island.

With a naturalist's eye and a sailor's experience, environmental historian Kent Mountford describes the history of New Jersey's Barnegat Bay region and its people, from the Lenni Lenape to 20th century summer vacationers. He opens our eyes to the Shore's past, its shifting inlets, disappearing islands, dangerous tides and shoals. Moving inland, he documents the Pinelands environment and the industries it has supported over the centuries.

Closed Sea tells the remarkable history of a fascinating place, a place of great beauty, danger and opportunity, a place that has cast its spell on generations of people.

Extending roughly from the Manasquan to the Mullica rivers is a region of bay, creeks, barrier island, and coastal forest. Girdled on the east by treacherous inlets and shifting shoals, hemmed in on the west by the vast and mysterious Pine Barrens, steeped in myth and history, this place has been claimed by many: pirates and whalers, iron masters and fishermen, patriots and vacationers. This is Barnegat Bay.

Closed Sea is the saga of New Jersey's Barnegat Bay region. It is a legendary coast that has drawn many admirers — lured by its beauty and promise, undaunted by the inherent dangers of living at the edge of an unforgiving sea, yet unable to shake the attraction that its glorious shores hold.

Includes selected bibliography, index, and map.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593220273
Publisher: Down The Shore Publishing
Publication date: 08/01/2006
Pages: 207
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Kent Mountford, PhD, is an estuarine ecologist with with decades of experience focused on North America's mid-Atlantic temperate estuaries. A writer, lecturer, and sailor, Dr. Mountford has been employed as a scientist for the District of Columbia and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

A working scientist, in 1980, he looked at the then-polluted Potomac, and began investigating the region's early colonial literature as a key to understanding today's problems. He helped set foundations for using ecosystem models to manage the Chesapeake; these models were among the first to simulate the bay's pre-colonial state and forecast the importance of nitrogen pollution. Dr. Mountford served on the Chesapeake Bay Program's management committee and was influential in the District's becoming a partner in the emerging multi-state effort to restore the Chesapeake and her rivers.

When the Chesapeake Bay Program concluded its six-year research phase in 1983-84, Mountford joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's new Bay Program Office to coordinate its estuary-wide monitoring program — now broadly accepted as the most comprehensive and enduring such program in America.

Mountford spent the balance of his 16 years at EPA as Bay Program Senior Environmental Scientist. He headed early efforts to develop "Environmental Indicators," a program now nationally recognized — and for this work received EPA's Regional Bronze Medal.

Dr. Mountford's public information role found him frequently quoted in the media, appearing on TV news spots or radio talk shows. He is an engaging naturalist-lecturer with a sense of humor and a particular sensitivity for historical context.

Dr. Mountford was raised a native New Jerseyan, spending each youthful summer at the Shore and the early core of his professional life on Barnegat Bay. He received his Masters in 1969 and his PhD in 1971, both from Rutgers, New Brunswick, where he received his undergraduate degree in 1960. He has been a sailor for fifty years and a licensed U.S. Coast Guard captain since 1987. His half century of logbooks, filled with experiences and sketches, cover some 35,000 miles sailing his in own boats and those of others across waters domestic and foreign. With his wife of 31 years, Nancy, he lives on one of the Chesapeake's most beautiful tributaries and, from an office overlooking his boat moored in her cove continues to write, lecture about, and study coastal history and ecology.

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