Customer Reviews of Against the Tide
This book is mandatory reading for anyone living in a coastal community. Well written and well researched, it is helping our Beach and Dune Committtee understand what options to consider. Thank you very much for an interesting and informative book.
Cornelia Dean Deserves The Pulitzer Prize!
I don't know Cornelia Dean but I wish she was my neighbor. This daring, wonderful, woman should be given a national award for her works in "Against the Tide." She blows the whistle on widespread negligent coastal management practices that are evident everywhere. It was extremely unsettling to me to read about almost identical patterns of coastal abuse that I have observed where I live at Alligator Point, Florida. A revetment was constructed in 1994 despite the warnings of coastal experts that it would contribute further to erosion rather than preventing it. This was done at a staggering waste of taxpayers' money and with the permission of county, state, and federal governments. Today, the beach area that once provided recreation and a protective buffer is gone because of revetment-caused erosion. Turtle areas are destroyed. Dwellings are sitting dangerously in water. The road is ruined and unsafe. And, there is no required accountabilty for removing the wall. It is now a permanent monument to disaster. Cornelia Dean articulately reveals how shamefully common this is. She has superbly documented the inept practices of coastal management efforts that are prevalent all along America's coasts. Nothing was written, however, about how to undo this American tragedy. I will, therefore, offer one suggestion based on Cornelia Dean's numerous contacts and her rapport with coastal planners. She should be given a special Presidential appointment to head up a commission to consolidate all coastal management agencies and to develop and enforce a unified set of standards. Ms. Dean's outstanding book certainly qualifies her for such a step.
Another Sad Tale of How Humans Foul Their Nests
An astounding book that will not be read by enough people. Ms. Dean provides us with a well-researched book on the physics (don't let that word throw you off; she makes it all quite understandable) of beaches, and how, in one century, we have managed to destroy them. Quite simply the ocean cannot and should not be conquered. While capable of causing intense damage to our shores, the ocean, given time, will also inevitably repair the damage it has caused. But, build houses, hotels and other structures as well as jetties, revetments, seawalls, and groins on the beaches and you will ultimately destroy them.
The truly sad part of this book is not just that we have destroyed thousands of miles of our beaches, but that we are led by ignorant, self-serving politicians and greedy commercial and private interests to build even more damaging structures on what's left of our shores. To add insult to injury the taxpayer continues to be dunned for the money to pay for continued "beach management" (read: mismanagement), and for rebuilding destroyed structures in areas where nothing should be built. I no longer have the slightest sympathy for people whose shorefront homes are destroyed by storms. Move inland where you belong.
A must read for the concerned citizen.
Beautifully written and explained.
This book is a must-have for anyone interested in beach erosion and overdevelopment. The author clearly lays out the arguments against such beachfront "improvements" as armoring, sandtrapping, etc. As a hydrologist, I was already well aware of the futility of most attempts to preserve beaches in their existing configurations, yet this book explains these issues in a very compelling and succinct fashion. The author also describes those rare occasions when intervention can indeed be helpful, and the special circumstances under which it is justifiable. Yet what is most compelling is the overall argument that in the majority of cases, most attempts at beach and property preservation actually hasten the destruction of the very things requiring protection. Ultimately, a particular beach structure is by its very nature a transient thing, yet it is most durable in its present form if left alone. Unfortunately, with beachfront development continuing at its currently rapid pace, it is unlikely that much of this important information will be heeded. Nevertheless, it is necessary to disseminate this knowledge. Perhaps this book can help inform the public of the need to let beaches be beaches.