At The Water's Edge: Observations Of The Interactions Of People And The Ocean.
It was at the water's edge where politics were once reputed to stop. As recently as fifty years ago polite society wrote coastal regions off as unredeemable and dangerous wildernesses populated with roustabouts and worse. Today there is no easy consensus in foreign policy and our coasts are the most desired, politically contested, and environmentally burdened regions on earth. Facing rising sea levels, depleted resources, massive storms, and unsupportable population densities, the very geography of the coast is under siege.
As coastal protection, resource management, and access are debated and contentiously adjudicated people still travel to the coast for recreation in record numbers— often oblivious to ongoing debates about access, use, and exploitation of coastal resources. How people value what they find at the coast is of paramount importance as humanity reckons with difficult questions about stewardship of earth's climate and environment, questions which will define our and the earth's future.
The coast has become a battleground even as it remains merely a day at the beach.