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Paperback The Estuary's Gift: An Atlantic Coast Cultural Biography Book

ISBN: 0271019514

ISBN13: 9780271019512

The Estuary's Gift: An Atlantic Coast Cultural Biography

(Part of the Rural Studies Series)

A coastal region's oldest inhabitants, particularly families of watermen and commercial fishers, often possess the deepest knowledge about a region and its ecological problems. Because of this, assaults on watermen lifeways and commercial fishing families--whether from organized recreational interests, real estate developers, or public policy makers--reduce the cultural and biological diversity of the coast and often upset the delicate environmental...


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Speaking for voices not heard

The Estuary's Gift is a beautiful and poignant expression of the connections between people and the coastal environment. Through eight delightfully written essays, Griffith entertains and educates in a poetic, lyrical style that draws the reader into a world that few of us know. Griffith teaches the reader about North Carolina's rich history in commercial fishing by introducing us to the people whose lives are linked to this industry. No matter where you are live, this book will show you the connections between your next seafood dinner , or vacation to the beach, and a unique way of life along the North Carolina coast. If you are from coastal North Carolina, don't be surprised if you see the lives of friends and family reflected in this book. Through his years of research, Dr. Griffith introduces us to some of the many men and women who as commercial fishermen are deeply rooted in an industry that is much more than a source of income. The North Carolina coast is home to some of the oldest fishing families in the country, and this book speaks for these families and others who make a living from the coastal environment. These people have a sense of culture, community, and history from their lives as fishermen that is threatened by fishing regulations and influences of population growth. These men and women also have an intimate knowledge of the water and its ever-changing conditions that sometimes result in problems for the seafood industry and the future of the esturaries. As they try to express problems they see from their daily contact with the water, many are ignored by rule makers or "experts" in government. Catch limits, closed/open fishing areas, equipment regulations, and license requirements are all examples of policies that were developed by "experts" who do not see the daily effects the rules have in commercial fishing and the coastal ecosystem. Griffith also addresses how the population boom that along the coast that has impacted the health of the estuaries and the coastal communities. He discusses the impacts of "gift shop" fisheries and revisionist developments that transform the traditional fishing communities into retirement and tourist boutiques that have little appreciation of the past.The Estuary's Gift is an intimate portrait of a changing way of life that is reflected in changes in communities and families along the coast. By involving us in the lives of men and women who are some of the many estuary's gifts, it speaks for voices not often heard.

Essays in bioregionalism

These delightfully written eight essays beautifully illustrate the concept of bioregionalism. Telling the stories of the commercial fishers of the Mid-Atlantic, the people who live along the coast of the Albemarle Sound and the Chesapeake Bay and who are farmers, fishers, and crabbers making a living from the water, David Griffin weaves together a powerful tale of the interrelationship of people and their natural environment. Based on extensive interviews over the past ten years, done in part for studies of fishing reglations for the government of North Carolina and others, the reader hears the voices and concerns of the fishers who for generations have lived in harmony with the estuary and its gifts of fish and shellfish. Threatened now by pollution down the Neuse River from the industrial farms, forestry and mining, the fishers are attempting to adapt and earn their living in other ways. They protest the regulations put in place to save the resource from being overfished. So here is a different side of the story from that put forth by many environmentalists, told in the fishers' own words, with empathy for their plight. At what price will the North Carolina and Virginia coastlines be developed for condos and fancy vacation houses? You be the judge of what we are winning and what we are losing.
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