The Gulf of Maine is an almost-enclosed sea bounded by an international watershed; shaped by volcanoes, glaciation, and other geologic forces; rich in marine resources; diverse in terrestrial systems; occupied by indigenous peoples for nearly 10,000 years; and now used intensively by fishermen, foresters, and tourists. A different aspect of this multi-faceted region is discussed in each chapter.
Yet it is the stunning satellite images and aerial photographs that set the Atlas apart. With pinpoint clarity, the images demonstrate how these increasingly powerful sensing tools may be utilized to view and interpret elements of the natural environment and ultimately, to help rectify problems. In the carefully coordinated narrative essays, authors from across the region address issues raised by the images, for example: how much clear cutting is going on and what its effects are on other parts of the ecosystem; how well marine fisheries are managing to prevent overfishing; the effect of pollutant loadings in nearshoreestuaries; and how seaweeds contribute to the lobster harvest.