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The Pressured Past and Precarious Future
of California’s Coast
by Kim Steinhardt and Gary Griggs
The Pacific coast is the most iconic region of California and one of the most fascinating and rapidly changing places in the world. Densely populated, urbanized and industrialized — but also home to wilderness with complex, fragile ecosystems — the coast is the place where humanity and nature coexist in a precarious balance that is never perfectly stable.
The Edge: The Pressured Past and Precarious Future of California’s Coast is a dramatic snapshot of the California coast’s past, present and probable future in a time of climate change and expanding human activity.
Written by two marine experts who grew up on the coast, The Edge is both a celebration of the coast’s natural and cultural uniqueness and a warning of the many complex changes that threaten that uniqueness.
As ocean levels rise, coastal communities are starting to erode, and entire neighborhoods have been lost to the sea. Coastal ecosystems and wildlife that were already stressed by human settlement now face new dangers, some threatening their very survival. The combined impacts of climate change, housing and commercial growth, commercial fisheries, oil drilling and production, along with environmental advocacy, all come together to define the future of the region.
The Edge examines the current state of the coast’s natural and social environments, gives the historical causes for the coast’s present endangerment and offers informed projections on possible scenarios of the coast’s future.
A masterful and sweeping synthesis of environmental and social science, The Edge presents a comprehensive portrait of natural and cultural history — the story of the people, communities, industries, ecology and wildlife of the California coast.
Audience: Readers interested in environmental issues, marine wildlife, climate change and California history.
About the Authors: A widely recognized marine wildlife photographer, former administrative law judge, and a long-time conservation advocate, Kim Steinhardt delivers popular lectures and photographic programs on coastal conservation and ocean stewardship issues for aquariums and marine centers, universities, state parks and other audiences. Gary Griggs has written or co-authored nine books about the coast and coastal issues both in California and globally. As a Distinguished Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California at Santa Cruz, he is known for his expertise in oceanography and coastal geology. He serves as the director of the Institute of Marine Sciences at UC Santa Cruz.
$18.95 US • Trade Paperback • 6" x 9" • 300 pages