Monday, January 11, 2010

Shifting Sands Authors at the Ocean City Library Jan. 26

In June the staff of the Maryland Coastal Bays Program was proud to release one of our most important accomplishments – a book focusing on the environmental and cultural changes in the watershed. This month we are just as pleased to have the opportunity to discuss the book directly with the community.

Shifting Sands - Environmental and Cultural Change in Maryland’s Coastal Bays was a collaborative effort from the Coastal Bays Program, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Coastal Bays Executive Director David Wilson Jr. and staff scientists Dr. Roman Jesien and Carol Cain are among the 80 authors from 24 different organizations and agencies who contributed to the book.

Copies of the book are available at each of Worcester County’s public libraries, and on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 1 pm, the public will have the unique opportunity to talk directly to authors Wilson, Jesien and Cain at the Ocean City branch on 100th Street. Through their unique approach of weaving together the region’s scientific exploration and history, cutting-edge science and peer-reviewed analysis synthesizing decades of work, the authors will give a holistic view of the bays behind Assateague and Ocean City.

Shifting Sands is a unique effort that provides a comprehensive look at the coastal lagoons and barrier islands making up Maryland’s Atlantic coastline. The book leads the reader through the history, setting, context and ecology of these waterways, their islands and mainland watershed, as well as management activities, history, setting, context and ecology of these fragile lagoons.

Shifting Sands is appropriately named considering the dynamic nature of the watershed. The name also refers to the changing perceptions regarding Maryland’s Coastal Bays, which differ among groups and individuals and have transformed over the years. The ongoing ecological transitions and rediscovery of the watershed inspired the book’s subtitle.

The book provides vital information relevant to our six sub watersheds – the St. Martin’s River and Assawoman, Chincoteague, Newport, Isle of Wight and Sinepuxent bays – with discussions on overall management issues, geologic and hydrologic information, and water quality and habitats concerns. Also contained in Shifting Sands is a rich history of the area, as well as insight on the watershed in a national and international context.

Our coastal bays are a unique and dynamic ecosystem, with a variety of wildlife and habitats. These factors are the very foundation for the success of our agriculture, recreation and tourism industries that support the local and state economies. Moreover, the very legacy we will leave future generations depends on the health of our watershed, but nutrient pollution and habitat destruction have put more pressure on this already vulnerable ecosystem.

As Sen. Paul Sarbanes wrote in the preface of Shifting Sands, “the continued economic prosperity and the quality of life that the citizens of Worcester County, and indeed, citizens throughout the region, enjoy will depend in large part on our ability to manage the Coastal Bays in a sustainable manner.”

We are grateful to Worcester County Public Libraries for providing the perfect venue to discuss this book. We hope the public will take this opportunity to learn directly from the authors just how relevant the Senator’s words are when it comes to the health of the watershed and economic vitality of our community.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great resource!