The North Carolina Shore and Its Barrier Islands is the latest volume in the series, Living with the Shore. Replacing an earlier volume, this thoroughly new book provides a diverse guide to one of America’s most popular shorelines. As is true for all books in the series, it is based on the premise that understanding the changing nature of beaches and barrier islands is essential if we are to preserve them for future generations. Evidence that the North Carolina shore is changing is never hard to find, but recently the devastation wrought by Hurricane Fran and the perilous situation of the historic lighthouse at Cape Hatteras have reminded all concerned of the fragility of this coast. Arguing for a policy of intelligent development, one in which residential and commercial structures meet rather than confront the changing nature of the shore, the authors have included practical information on hazards of many kinds—storms, tides, floods, erosion, island migration, and earthquakes. Diagrams and photographs clearly illustrate coastal processes and aid in understanding the impact of hurricanes and northeasters, wave and current dynamics, as well as pollution and other environmental destruction due to overdevelopment. A chapter on estuaries provides related information on the shores of back barrier areas that are growing in popularity for recreational residences. Risk maps focus on the natural hazards of each island and together with construction guidelines provide a basis for informed island management. Lastly, the dynamics of coastal politics and management are reviewed through an analysis of the controversies over the decision to move the Cape Hatteras lighthouse and a proposed effort to stabilize Oregon Inlet. From the natural and historic perspective of the opening chapters to the regional discussions of individual barrier islands, this book is both a primer on coastal processes for the first time visitor as well as a guide to hazard identification for property owners.
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