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With strong personal and professional ties to the Gulf of Mexico, marine geologist John B. Anderson has spent two decades studying the Texas coastline and continental shelf. In this book, he answers fundamental, frequently asked questions about the coast - how it evolved; how it operates; how natural processes affect it and why it is ever changing; and, finally, how human development can be managed to help preserve it. The book provides an amply illustrated look at ocean waves and currents, beach formation and erosion, barrier island evolution, hurricanes, and sea level changes. With an abundance of visual material - including aerial photos, historical maps, simple figures, and satellite images - the author presents a lively, interesting lesson in coastal geography that readers will remember and appreciate the next time they are at the beach and want to know. This entertaining and instructive book authoritatively answers these and many other questions that are essential to our understanding of coastal change.