What is the value of an unseen resource?

"No sea-lover could look unmoved on the blue rollers of the Gulf Stream & the crystal clear waters of the Reef, of every delicate shade of blue and green, and tinged with every color of the spectrum from the fantastically rich growths on the bottom, visible to the last detail through this incredibly translucent medium. It scarcely resembles northern sea-water at all -- a cold, semi-opaque, grayish green fluid, which hides the mysteries of the bottom. Drifting over the Florida Reef on a quiet day one may note all the details of its tropical luxuriance twenty feet below, and feels himself afloat on a sort of liquid light, rather than on water, so limpid & brilliant is it."

Ralph Middleton Munroe, (1880-1936)


"We are just scratching the surface when it comes to protecting inshore waters."

J Siry.

What do we mean by that phrase with respect to coral reefs and the coral coast of the America's?


Make an argument for or against the coast, or coastal zone as a valuable example of America’s natural heritage.

Using Carson's evidence, what is the importance of the coast for you, for other humans?

Beneath the seas may be the most productive of nature's creations, clearly the coral reefs are the most diverse and most productive places on earth in the nearshore zone of the sub littoral area.


Coral animals or polyps are symbiotic with zooxanthelae algae, coexisting in colonies that extend over wide areas of the inshore, or nearshore waters, within twenty meters (sixty feet) of the surface, in tropical oceanic regions.

Their extensive growth, forming coral reefs around the world, indicates

Coral formations are indicator species of high quality marine water, robust fisheries, species richness.

In 1967 Jacques Cousteau warned we were polluting the Oceans to the point where they were showing signs of exhaustion.

Has the coastal zone exceeded its assimilative capacity to absorb any further pollution or settlement?


BeachesCoastal zone management

Coral reefs

Contents of Carson's 1955 book.

overview of The Edge of the Sea.


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By Joseph Siry