Take a walk on the beach with three coastal experts who reveal the secrets and the science of the North Carolina shoreline. What makes sea foam? What are those tiny sand volcanoes along the waterline? You'll find the answers to these questions and dozens more in this comprehensive field guide to the state's beaches, which shows visitors how to decipher the mysteries of the beach and interpret clues to an ever-changing geological story. Orrin Pilkey, Tracy Monegan Rice, and William Neal explore large-scale processes, such as the composition and interaction of wind, waves, and sand, as well as smaller features, such as bubble holes, drift lines, and black sands. In addition, coastal life forms large and small--from crabs and turtles to microscopic animals--are all discussed here. The concluding chapter contemplates the future of North Carolina beaches, considering the threats to their survival and assessing strategies for conservation. This indispensable beach book offers vacationers and naturalists a single source for learning to appreciate and preserve the natural features of a genuine state treasure.