What makes some kinds of landscape more important or equally as important as other terrains?

marshes and productivity | economic value of landscape | an ecological perspective | Rachel Carson's role | A regional view | Conclusion

line            Marshes of the Ocean Shore

book An illustrated chapter 6.
6, The New Ecology and The New Ecological Ethic

7, Estuaries and The New Ecology


book 6, The New Ecology and The New Ecological Ethic

Review | Key Players | Significant Idea | Summary

"At the turn of the century ecology and economics agreed on the classification of tidal marshes as obstructing wastelands. Resource economics determined the 'best' use of land solely from human and utilitarian perspectives. The initial findings of terrestrial and marine biologists supported policies to make human 'improvements' over nature's perceived inefficiency. However, in The 1930s and 1940s a number of scientists, including wildlife biologist, Aldo Leopold, would begin to demonstrate that The political and economic values assigned to coastal wetlands and other wild areas conflicted with their biological integrity."

Marshes, p. 112.

Keystone Species

The terms you need to know and use in essays.

Key Players

    1. Aldo Leopold -- Marshland Elegy, Round River, beauty, health and biological integrity.
    2. WJ McGee -- Comprehensive planning of rivers and their watersheds.
    3. A. G. Tansley's -- models of trophic or feeding levels.
    4. Raymond Lindeman -- Trophic or feeding levels in a Cedar Bog
    5. Gunter Gordon -- Plankton and food chains of Gulf Coast fisheries
    6. Steven Forbes -- the Lake as Microcosm
    7. Rachel Carson -- the seashores, oceans and pesticides

    The terms you need to know and use in essays.

Review of Chapter Six's main points:

Aldo Leopold and the new ecology

Comprehensive Riverine Management

Tidelands Oil Controversy

A growing ecological revolt was based on:


book 7, Estuaries and The New Ecology

Review | Key Players | Significant Idea | Summary

"The expansion of wisdom is a difficult task for an individual, let alone a society. In democratic cultures wisdom often may be overlooked at the voting boot in the clear cut timberformulation of policy. For citizens and civil servants alike, confronting popular notions of efficacy and justice takes courage. Rachel Louise Carson was an advocate of unpopular causes, including fish and bird protection, preservation of wild seashores, and opposition to heedless use of 'miracle' technologies. Her final, best known attack on the indiscriminate uses of DDT as an insecticide was only one part of her larger and more positive view of the world and humanity's place in the eco-energetic scheme.... More than any other scientist she popularized the oceans and the shores, with a profoundly religious respect for nature and a practical appreciation for human ignorance. A contemporary of her fellow preservation ecologist, Aldo Leopold, Carson focused more explicitly than he on oceans and shores."

(p. 134.)

Keystone Species

The terms you need to know and use in essays.

bird for paradiseLeading Ideas:

Land Ethic

Key Players

      1. Rachel Carson
      2. Eugene Odum
      3. Joel Hedgpeth
      4. Lewis Mumford
      5. Henry Wright

      The terms you need to know and use in essays.

Review of Chapter Seven's main points:

Rachel Carson's tradition 1937-1668.

  1. Popularization of the sea before and especially after the war: National Book Award, 1951
  2. May 27, 1927, Rachel Carson was born in Springdale ,Pa.
  3. 1936 article in the Baltimore Sun on the Chesapeake Bay – 100 years after Emerson's essay
  4. Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act of 1934 to remedy single factor planning perspectives.
  5. Creation of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Carson worked for that Federal Bureau as a biologist & writer.
  6. Carson popularized the New Ecology with respect to oceanography.
  7. She understood the reality of "We live in a scientific age. Science is part of the reality of living; . . . everything in our existence."

p. 141.

City Planning and scenic preservation in 1920s
Federal Conservation Policy reformulation by Herbert Hoover and then some continuity and expansion of concepts like zoning and comprehensive riverine management from Hoover to Ickes coupled with the slow development of fisheries and wildlife protection in the 1930s led to the creation of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the 1940s.

The role of Rachel Carson's books in raising popular awareness.

CarsonCarson in the US Fish and Wildlife Service

"takes away a land suitable for wildlife" she argued as cities and highways were built and marshes were destroyed in the process.

Osborn, Brown and Commoner all stake out ecological problems due to population, resources and technology as causal factors.

The Sea Around Us (1951)

The Edge of the Sea

"essential unity that binds life to the earth"

page, 141.


Basis of the marine food chain: dinoflagellates, diatoms and copepods: the plankton.

Oysters and filter feeders

"awareness of its beauty, and its deeper meanings, sensing the intricate fabric of life where one creature is linked to another and each with its surroundings."

page, 142.

MarshesEugene Odum's work (1954) in the Georgia Sea Islands.

"arteries of a remarkable energy absorbing natural system whose heart was the pumping action of the tides."

Each ebb of the tide removed waste material and organic matter --referred to as "detritus" by ecological field specialists. Every incoming tide brought oxygen, salts, nutrients and plankton to the very heart of the marshes where mud algae, bacteria, sea grass beds, Spartina or cord grasses are nourished and where invertebrates like crabs, oysters, or clams are fed on the ocean's variety. This daily pumping action of the tides is not available in marshes that line rivers or lakes. Although the organic matter builds up in all marshland or forested ecosystems, the availability of sunlight, shallow water, ocean nutrients, runoff from the land and a variety of producer and consumer organisms makes every square meter of coastal marsh or mangrove a cafeteria for birds and fish. And the feeding tube does not stop at the shore.

Among the economically valued fisheries --dependent on these tidal shores-- oysters, clams, crab, mussels, eels, and salmon bring a higher price than do other resources from the seas. All of this diversity of food types from shell fish to fin fish depends on the food chains that have their origin in the waters, muds, and tidal marshes of estuaries.

page, 143.

salt marsh

Claude Zobel and the role of bacteria and soil fungus in productivity of plants.

Joel Hedgpeth, seashore zoologist and his recognition of a changing shoreline ecology.

Between Pacific Tides, Ed Ricketts, John Steinbeck and the Monterey Bay fisheries

Shipworms and San Francisco Bay water quality changes

Water content of the hydrological system

water quality decline threatened estuaries nationally

Hedgpeth and other ecologists linked or tied Lindeman's study to marsh grass productivity and Odum's rationale

deerSpartina grass, mud algae, diatoms and the productive base of tidal marshes

fertility of tidal seas unsurpassed due to animals and plants found nowhere else, temperate conditions, edge effect, nursery

page, 146.

Odum insisted that the

Utility of a corn field is greater than an estuary -- but an estuarine marsh is biologically greater in productivity.

problems of the merely agronomic approach to marshes is similar to one dimensional planning.

Need for coastal restoration districts based on the Soil Conservation District concept.

Comprehensive Planning began to view coastal regions as a single unit.

ewis MumfordLewis Mumford understood cities as organic --that is to say growing organisms dependent on their surroundings for the commercial influx and reflux of the people, services and products that each afforded the regions and even the world. Amsterdam was his model for the city constructed with an eye on its conditions of existence while needing to convert the countryside to meet the needs of its residents.

Regional planning strengths and weaknesses

Planning movement, cities and transportation

Philadelphia transportation plan: PenJerDel

Henry Wright -- NY State Commissioner of Housing defined planning's goal:

page, 149.

Lewis Mumford's vision and comprehension expressed well in his

May 1, 1925 Mumford's address on defects and fuzziness of the "regional planning" defined region.

Regional Planning Association of America was created to enable cities to better manage their annexation and expansion by promoting measurement, zoning to separate unrelated uses, such as commercial from industrial and single family from apartment residences, and to assure water and sanitation services were extended to all parts of the urban areas.

New York City Metropolitan Plan 

Harold Ickes, Secretary of the Interior, helped to oversee and plan the New Deal Programs of PWA & WPA

National Planning Board was created to assist WPA to select projects but, due to Congressional backlash against Roosevelt for projects like Greenbelt Maryland, the institution had a short lived history of influence.

Benton MacKaye and the Appalachian Trails' Blue Ridge Parkway -- a scenic treasure to recreate rural areas.

Scenic views and picturesque vistas as an indicator of Mumford's "natural advantages."

1938, California's Monterey County Zoning Board's scenic preservation regulation for coastal land-use zoning upheld in court.

land ho

Emergence from the ecological revolt of the Gospel of Ecology,

New Conservation, or New Ecology 1959-1964.

 Based on understanding energy as photons, light as radiation, photosynthesis and primary productivity

page, 154.

Economic dependence on ecological conditions of productive existence, such as marshes, seafood and bird-life

Dying of cancer she visited Mount Desert Island

April 14, 1964, Rachel Carson died (Silver Spring, Md.) -- the end "that intangible cycle"

Popularization of the marsh / tidelands message

Dueling systems of worth

Ecological values:

"the articulation of an estuarine preservation ideal" because the estuary is a "keystone for marine life"

Economic values:

Value of marshes for sanitation alone (1960s) was over $50,000 per acre in cultural replacement of the natural function.

pp. 155-156.


6, The New Ecology & The New Ecological Ethic | 7, Estuaries & The New Ecology | 8, Politics & the Preservation of Estuaries

| Index for Complete book |

value of estuary protection | economic values are hard to see in estuaries | marshland preservation | losses

The terms you need to know and use in essays.

Marshes of the Ocean Shore

Estuarine protection

Siry Cover Book overview : Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,