Navigating the site:
Nowhere on the shore is the relation of a creature to its surroundings a matter of single cause and effect; each living thing is bound to its world by many threads, weaving the intricate design in the fabric of life.
The sea's margins:
The early history of life as it is written in the rocks is exceedingly dim and fragmentary, and so, it is not possible to say when living things first colonized the shore. . . . .in the rocks of the Cambrian period, which are about half a billion years old, all the major groups of invertebrate animals (including the principle inhabitants of the shore) suddenly appear, fully formed and flourishing.
There are sponges and jellyfish, worms of all sorts, a few simple snail-like mollusks, and arthropods. Algae also are abundant,. . . on good evidence that the strip between the tide lines 500 million years ago bore at least a general resemblance to the intertidal area of the present stage of earth history.
"The towering physical realities of the sea itself, and the subtle life relationships that bind each living thing to its own community. The Patterns life as created and shaped by these realities intermingle and overlap so that the major design is exceedingly complex."
The consequence of these different forms of tidal scouring create intertidal zones along the shore. Other than currents, that create marine climates ( pp. 18-22.) the daily and monthly changes in the level of the water along the ocean shores is the most important of the inorganic forces that affect nature along the coast.
intertidal zones. important & signal indication of the inter-changeability of the sea and land, anomalous quality of creatures, and special case of property ownership,
For it is now clear that in the sea nothing lives to itself.... so [too] the present is linked with the past and future, and each living thing with all that surrounds it.
Tidewater region, that area of the eastern Atlantic coast of the US from Maine to Texas where river's are affected by the movement of the sea's diurnal changes.
Tidelands those submerged areas of the shore stretching from the highest tide to the continental shelf, three, six, twelve or two hundred miles off shore.
tide a change or movement over time, specifically changes in the surface elevation of the sea (and land).
All tidal fluctuation is due to the movement of the Sun, the Earth and the Moon, and it was first predictably and formulaically understood by Sir Edmund Haley, in the Seventeenth Century, who was a colleague of Sir Isaac Newton.
At the sea's edge is always evident a palpable example of Newton's first law of motion; that "to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." The water rises and falls as waves, is pulled under the gravitational influence of the sun and the moon generating the tides, falling in deceptively different patterns along the marginal boundarieswhere the winds, currents and tides ceaselessly sculpt the land at the very edge of the sea.
"The Island of Monhegan on the coast of Maine lies unprotected in the path of such storms and receives their waves on its steep seaward facing cliffs. In a violent storm the spray from breaking waves is thrown over the crest of White Head, about 100 feet above the sea. In some storms the green water of actual waves sweeps over the lower cliff known as Gull Rock. It is 60 feet high."
The effect of waves is felt on the bottom a considerable distance offshore. Lobster traps set in water 200 feet deep often are shifted about or have stones carried into them. . . .Very few coasts have completely defeated the attempts of living things to gain a foothold."
Adaptation as a theme.
Does society alter its institutions in response to the tidal edges of the sea?
Nauset Marsh looking east on Cape Cod
Society alters the terrain to suit human needs. Those places in which a people finds necessities upon which to thrive will at first alter their surroundings. Only after much time and experience will some learn --after their use of resources is diminished or made more expensive by the limitations imposed on any society by the physical and biological conditions which sustain these fisheries, or forestry resources that serve as a source of wealth or necessary commodities. There are no better examples of this than the Grand Banks fisheries and their decline from over fishing, or the crash of Pacific Salmon numbers due to deforestation and dams for hydroelectricity.
Concept, related ideas.
Essay about conserving biological wealth.