The Earth's coasts –– the coastal regions where over half of the world's population dwells –– are on a collision course with destiny.


Transitory Coasts in Collision: where the rubber of population growth meets the jagged edge roadway of geology.


Some features of the collision between growth and limitations are:

Half of the US GDP, or gross domestic product is derived from coastal resources.

The current fish extraction policies are not capable of being sustained, or even managed in the future.

Sea level is rising due to ocean thermal expansion at a rate faster than it would in historically cooler oceans.

Americans and their Tidal Seas


Long a magnet for commerce, industry and recreation to today's policies have traded the rich natural capital of fisheries and forests along the seas edges for the more financially lucrative development of coastal high hazard areas.

coastal risks

The root of the problem is our unwillingness to pay for the full price of protecting seashore populations, the sources of seaside fishery wealth, and the propensity to relegate risks to make development appear profitable, when it is actually more costly.

    1. Ad Valorem taxation.
    2. Supreme Court decisions.
    3. Maryland sea level rise studies.
    4. Flood damage to property and transportation networks.
    5. The end of affordable fuel oil and low-cost energy.

In the current conditions, our seashores are still expendable; we market their beaches, drain their tidal wetlands, cut-down their mangroves, pollute their reefs, and then people wonder where the fisheries went.

hurricanes Map of the hazards from flood damage in affected areas from tropical storm Sandy.

Pollution accumulates at the sea's edge.


Coastal zones are less extensive areas than are upstream watersheds but bear a disproportional mass of contamination with respect to their meager extent when compared to the more extensive upland areas.

Overview of the sea's edge.


  1. Water and habitats,
  2. Tides,
  3. Sea level,
  4. Geography and geology,
  5. Seashore and life,
  6. Summary of coastal issues,
  7. Coastal Zone Management.

Case study of the Indian River Lagoon reveals the kinds of problems inherent in settling along seashores.

What are the issues involved in problems ?

  1. Productivity
  2. Diversity
  3. Disaster

Federal programs for Coastal America's protection & renewal.


Marshes, the value of


Physical | Biological | Map | Transect | Features