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While the coast of the Pacific Northwest becomes populated with houses, condominiums, motels, and restaurants, its beaches and cliffs continue to be altered by ocean currents and winter storms. A companion volume to "Living with the Shore of Puget Sound and the Georgia Strait", "The Pacific Northwest Coast" serves as a source of information about the coast of the Pacific Northwest, its geological setting, the natural responses of beaches and cliffs to ocean processes, and the ever-present problem of erosion. In this guide, Paul D. Komar, one of the nation's leading coastal oceanographers, examines the lessons taught by ages of geological and cultural history. With explanations of the area's geological evolution, including natural shoreline erosion and sea-cliff landsliding, Komar details human interaction with the coast: erosion caused by early settlers, the development and destruction of Bayocean Spit, the disastrous effects caused by the 1982-1983 El Ni-o, and the notorious failure of a construction project on the picturesque but unstable bluffs at Jump-Off Joe. Emphasizing the actual and potential harm to human projects and to the natural heritage of the coast, Komar provides the knowledge necessary for finding a safe home near the shore while preserving the beauty that draws us to it. Calling for changes in shoreline management policies and in attitudes toward development, this book will inform and assist inhabitants of the Pacific Northwest and the general public who seek to preserve this region's natural heritage.
This book offers important lessons and valuable advice to coastal planners and coastal residents--and not just those of Oregon and Washington. The excellent case study material in The Pacific Northwest Coast "could become part of a curricula for courses in natural hazards, coastal management, and coastal geomorphology. If you care about the coast, this book is a worthy addition to your library."
--Douglas J. Sherman, "Geographical Review"
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