Seashore like any shoreline is the critical edge and test of conservation & development.
strange and beautiful place.
Carson, The Edge of the Sea,
Carson writes about the rocky shore, the coral coast, the sandy beach, and within each of these coastal areas she delineates even more zones such as the maritime forest, sea grass meadows, dunes, intertidal rocks, mangroves, marshes, and mud flats, among many others. Each area requires different ecological design aspects and thus, solutions to how one lives successfully beside the sea grow from each of these individual places.
Thesis | essay | overview | book's contents | Ecological problem's three components | sense of her text
The shoreline of the
ocean is not exactly land, but not exactly water either. Along the seas
margins water moves as the tide ebbs and floods water moves land and land
obstructs the flow or littoral drift. Littoral drift is the movement of
water that is also carrying sand and debris along the shore; also called
the "long shore current."
In California the
long shore current moves from south to north even though the offshore
deeper California Current moves from north to south. Similarly the Gulf
Stream moving deeply along the Atlantic from south to north setting up
a long shore current dragging water from north to south. Here is 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, and isThus what we might expect is
deceptively different along the marginal boundaries of the sea and the
The "edge effect"
is an example of the anomalous character of the shore. Where land and
water intimately intermingle we expect the unexpected. Some organisms
called barnacles plant their heads down cemented to the rock and throw
their legs in the air, among the rocks where waves crash. Barnacles, mussels,
or bryozoans are but one example of how the unexpected life form thrives
in areas where we might otherwise expect life to be sparse, because of
the stress of the salt water, the tides and the pressure of the crushing
waves. The edge effect implies that creatures from the land, such as the
Galapagos iguanas, mingle, even depend on marine algae. Normally a land
creature, marine iguanas of the Galapagos Islands take to the sea to survive
and even thrive. The edge effect generally occurs wherever an overlap
between one ecological community and an adjacent neighboring community
exists; the overlap produces a greater array of creatures inhabiting these
edges, than either of the adjoining communities.