The North Carolina Shore and Its Barrier Islands is the latest volume in the series, "Living with the Shore". Replacing an earlier volume, this thoroughly new book provides a diverse guide to one of America's most popular shorelines. As is true for all books in the series, it is based on the premise that understanding the changing nature of beaches and barrier islands is essential if we are to preserve them for future generations. Evidence that the North Carolina shore is changing is never hard to find, but recently the devastation wrought by Hurricane Fran and the perilous situation of the historic lighthouse at Cape Hatteras have reminded all concerned of the fragility of this coast. Arguing for a policy of intelligent development, one in which residential and commercial structures meet rather than confront the changing nature of the shore, the authors have included practical information on hazards of many kinds - storms, tides, floods, erosion, island migration, and earthquakes. Diagrams and photographs clearly illustrate coastal processes and aid in understanding the impact of hurricanes and northeasters, wave and current dynamics, as well as pollution and other environmental destruction due to over-development. A chapter on estuaries provides related information on the shores of back barrier areas that are growing in popularity for recreational residences. Risk maps focus on the natural hazards of each island and together with construction guidelines provide a basis for informed island management. Lastly, the dynamics of coastal politics and management are reviewed through an analysis of the controversies over the decision to move the Cape Hatteras lighthouse and a proposed effort to stabilise Oregon Inlet. From the natural and historic perspective of the opening chapters to the regional discussions of individual barrier islands, this book is both a primer on coastal processes for the first time visitor as well as a guide to hazard identification for property owners.
Some 20 years ago several of these authors wrote a book on North Carolina coast hazards and ways to reduce vulnerability (followed by 20 books for other coastal regions). This book represents an update to include the effects of recent storms on the coastline, the improved understanding of barrier island dynamics, and also newer building protection procedures. Graphic descriptions of storm damage are shown, followed by a mile-by-mile status of the barrier islands with detailed risk assessment. The book concludes with protection procedures. This book is for the most part nontechnical and will appeal to those interested in the hazards of coastal living.
--"Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society"
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