336 pages, 10 × 7.5 × 1 in
August 29, 2011
Greystone Books Ltd.
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1553654463
ISBN - 13: 9781553654469
Read from the Book
Excerpt (from Chapter 1):
Fog seemed like a constant companion when I was growing up. My earliest memories are wrapped in it as if in a comforting blanket. I grew up in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, at the very southwestern tip of Nova Scotia, that peninsular province that points into the Gulf of Maine and is all but surrounded by water. Yarmouth averages 120 foggy days a year, and the fog produced here in prodigious quantities by the interaction of land, sea, and air is often of the "pea soup" variety. When summer air, warmed by the land, flows out over the tidally generated colder waters of the outer Bay of Fundy, its moisture condenses, producing a fog bank. This fog would often burn off by midmorning, under the heat of the rising sun, but move in again when sea breezes blew onto the land in the evening. Companion to some, curse to others, to me the fog is the sea's breath, a reminder of the closeness of the sea and its influence on all life in the Atlantic realm. [PHOTO 1-1, Fog over Fundy National Park]
The Northwest Atlantic region of North America-the Northeastern United States and Newfoundland and Labrador and the Maritime Provinces in Canada-belongs to the sea. The maritime influence on climate, and therefore on flora and fauna, is dominant-even far inland, out of sight and sound of the ocean, and even though weather systems generally move easterly off the continent. In summer the prevailing wind is from the southwest and, in winter, from the northwest, though occasio
Table of Contents
1 The Atlantic Realm 7
Where North Meets South
2 Oceans and Mountains 39
The Geology and Paleontology of the Atlantic Coast
3 The Atlantic Hinterland 77
Forests of the Atlantic Coast
4 Between the Capes 117
The Mid-Atlantic Bight
5 Tides of Life 153
The Gulf of Maine and the Bay of Fundy
6 River into the Sea 199
The Gulf of St. Lawrence
7 Great Currents and Grand Banks 235
Newfoundland and Labrador
8 The Altered Realm 277
The Once and Future Atlantic
Photographer's Acknowledgments 304
Further Reading 305
Scientific Names 311
Panel of expert reviewers
Dr. Graham Daborn
Acadia Centre for Estuarine Research
Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Dr. David Garbary
Professor of Biology and Co-ordinator--Interdisciplinary Studies in Aquatic Resources
St. Francis Xavier University
Antigonish, Nova Scotia
Brian Harrington, Senior Shorebird Biologist
Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences
Dr. Peter Larsen
Senior Research Scientist
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
West Boothbay Harbor, Maine
Dr. Donald F. McAlpine
Chair, Department of Natural Science
Head, Zoology Section
New Brunswick Museum Saint John, N.B.
Dr. Paul E. Olsen
Arthur D. Storke Memorial Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University
Palisades, New York
Dr. George Rose
Head, Fisheries Conservation,
Fisheries and Marin
From the Publisher
Winner of the Lane Anderson Award for Best Science Writing, the Evelyn Richardson Memorial Award for Non-Fiction, and the Dartmouth Book Award for Non-Fiction.
An authoritative and fascinating exploration of the natural history of the east coast of North America.
The North Atlantic coast of North America — commonly known as the Atlantic Coast — extends from Newfoundland and Labrador through the Maritime Provinces and the Northeastern United States south to Cape Hatteras. This North Atlantic region belongs to the sea. The maritime influence on climate, flora, and fauna is dominant — even far inland. This is where the great northern boreal forests intermingle with the mixed coniferous-hardwood forests farther south and where the cold, iceberg-studded Labrador Current from the Arctic and the warm Gulf Stream of the tropics vie for supremacy.
Filled with stunning photographs, the book includes chapters on the geological origins of this region, the two major forest realms, and the main freshwater and marine ecosystems and also describes the flora and fauna within each of these habitats. Finally, it looks at what has been lost but also what remains of the natural heritage of the region and how that might be conserved in future.
Written by the Atlantic region's best-known nature writer, Harry Thurston, The Atlantic Coast draws upon the most up-to-date science on the ecology of the region as well as the author's lifetime experience as a biologist and naturalist. It is both a personal tribute and an accessible, comprehensive guide to an intriguing ecosystem.
Published in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation.
About the Author
Harry Thurston is the author of several collections of poetry and twelve nonfiction books, including Tidal Life: A Natural History of the Bay of Fundy, winner of three non-fiction prizes in the Atlantic region; The Nature of Shorebirds: Nomads of the Wetlands; and A Place Between the Tides: A Naturalist's Reflections on the Salt Marsh, which received the 2005 Sigrid Olson Nature Writing Award in the United States and was shortlisted for the 2005 BC Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. He has also written for such magazines as Audubon, Canadian Geographic, and National Geographic. Thurston lives in Nova Scotia.
Wayne Barrett is a partner in Barrett & MacKay Photography. His photographs have been featured in advertisements, magazines, and calendars and have appeared in numerous books. He lives in Prince Edward Island.
"Here is a book that will make you swoon...Harry Thurston and Wayne Barrett are a dream team. Both are gifted, multiple-award-winning artists, but it is their intimate knowledge of and profound appreciation of and relationship with nature that makes this book exceptional. Thurston gives us the big picture of the Atlantic coast's ecosystem, his writing accessible to a wide audience...Bravo to David Suzuki Foundation and Greystone Books for finding Thurston and Barrett. This is a book that comes along once in a generation.” -- The Buzz "The Atlantic Coast, a sweeping overview of thousands of kilometres of shoreline by prolific East Coast environmental writer and poet Harry Thurston." -- Canadian Geographic “Mixing observations, in-depth research, and vivid prose, Thurston explores the region’s geologic, ecologic, and cultural history, from the plate tectonics that created the landscape millions of years ago to the recent legislation protecting the degraded waterways of the east coast. Barrett’s gorgeous color photographs of land, sea, and sky supplement Thurston’s vivid descriptions, reminding us of our country’s great beauty.” -- Publishers Weekly "Sometimes the natural wonders of the world are right in your own backyard. And now, one of the region's best-known nature writers is putting the Atlantic Coast of North America on the map as one of the richest and most diverse coastal regions in the world with a new book, The Atlantic Coast: A Natural History." -- The Guardian Newsp