The Northwest Coastal Explorer: Your Guide to the Places, Plants, and Animals of the Pacific Coast by Robert SteelquistThe Northwest Coastal Explorer: Your Guide to the Places, Plants, and Animals of the Pacific Coast by Robert Steelquist

The Northwest Coastal Explorer: Your Guide to the Places, Plants, and Animals of the Pacific Coast

byRobert Steelquist

Paperback | September 21, 2016

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“Part field guide, part travel guide, Steelquist writes with the authoritative voice of that friend you want next to you on the trail or in the dunes—the one who knows just where to go for a weekend getaway and what to pack for the Pacific Northwest’s unpredictable weather.” —Portland Monthly

Millions of visitors explore the magnificent coastline of the Pacific Northwest and all that it provides—unique plant life, easy-to-find animals, and magical places. The Northwest Coastal Explorer is a fun, engaging, lushly-illustrated guide to the marine life of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Profiles of the flora and fauna include tips on where and how to find them—like the ochre sea stars commonly discovered on exposed rocks and the olive snails found on sandy beaches—while the included getaway guide highlights the best weekend trips for each area.

About The Author

Robert Steelquist is a native Pacific Northwest naturalist, author, photographer and environmental educator. He has led nature walks, backpacking trips, river floats, teacher workshops, and archaeology field schools. He lives in the foothills of the Olympic Mountains, near Blyn, Washington.

Details & Specs

Title:The Northwest Coastal Explorer: Your Guide to the Places, Plants, and Animals of the Pacific CoastFormat:PaperbackDimensions:284 pages, 9 × 7 × 0.63 inPublished:September 21, 2016Publisher:Timber PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1604696311

ISBN - 13:9781604696318

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Introduction: What Is It About The Ocean? The ocean’s scale and grandeur enchant us. The Pacific Ocean is the dominant natural feature of the Pacific Northwest, influencing our maritime climate (12–14 feet of rain each year in the Hoh Rain Forest), the abundance of our forests (giant coast redwoods and Sitka spruce) and rivers (salmon), and forming one of the most productive marine ecosystems on the planet. The coastal regions of northern California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia are also population centers and engines of our economy. We know the ocean is important—after all, that’s why our region is called the Pacific Northwest. But what happens when we hear the sound of breaking surf through a dark spruce forest? Or catch the unmistakable scent of a beach at low tide? Or the tingle of cool fog droplets on our cheeks and the feel of beach gravel crunching beneath our shoes? Or the sight of an orca whale breaching as we watch through binoculars? Or simply the taste of saltwater? Young or old, something in us clicks. The explorer in us wants to explore. The artist in us wants to admire the scenery. The curiosity in us takes over and the questions come tumbling out. This book aims to answer some of those questions, while provoking many more. Who can resist playing in the waves? Welcome to the Pacific Northwest and its magnificent Pacific Coast. Blessed with a moderate climate, our forests, rivers, estuaries, beaches, and rocky shores are available to us year-round, inviting nature encounters that vary from the mild to the wild (rest easy—this book is a guide to the mild end of that spectrum). We are going to start with the basics. These are your first steps in experiencing and understanding what goes on in our coastal environment. This book is an introduction to some of the most common plants and animals that make the Northwest Coast unlike any other part of the world. You are going to meet and learn about a cast of characters that live here and that you will likely see on a regular basis as you spend more time exploring the scenic and natural wonders of our region. You will also learn about processes—climate, weather, tide, and currents—that make the Pacific Northwest Coast so productive. Along the way (and crucially), you will also learn about some of its conservation challenges and success stories and how you can do your part to protect our precious natural heritage. The great writer and conservationist John Muir once said, “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” In this book we are going to tug on common plants and animals and find out what they are attached to. We are going to start with the things you will almost always see—and see what they tell us about everything else. Many common animals and plants are important simply because they are abundant. They have survived and thrived because they have adapted to conditions such as geology, climate, or ocean currents—unique evolutionary strategies that give them survival advantages over competitors in this environment. Or they’ve persevered because they are remnant populations isolated in space and time. Common animals and plants play important roles in ecosystems and natural communities, perhaps as a top predator, if an animal, or a dominant forest species, if a tree. They actively play a role in shaping the composition of life and influencing other living species around them. Some, like orca whales, may be in danger because of environmental or human threats. Some, like Spartina (cordgrass), an introduced estuary plant, endanger other species by their aggressive spread. All, in some way or another, are important pieces in the mosaic of living things that call the Pacific Northwest Coast home.  

Editorial Reviews

“Steelquist inspires us all to be explorers and learn firsthand the importance of protecting magical places like the Pacific Northwest.” —Jean-Michel Cousteau, explorer and President of Ocean Futures Society “A welcome guide to the diversity and bounty of the Pacific Northwest coast!”—Jane Lubchenco, PhD, former administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration   “A visual delight packed with information.” —Kerry Carlin-Morgan, PhD, Director of Education at the Oregon Coast Aquarium   “What a treat to visit the Pacific Coast through Bob Steelquist’s eyes!” —Robert W. Davidson, President and CEO of the Seattle Aquarium “If wandering ocean beaches and coastal forests is part of your love affair with the Pacific Northwest, here’s a new guidebook to pop in your daypack. The Northwest Coastal Explorer, by Robert Steelquist, is a handsome softcover usefully organized by habitat area. . . . it’s a little bit of everything, spotlighting what you’ll see most often.” —The Seattle Times “This book will be very helpful to those exploring these areas who want to learn more about the terrain, plants, and animals they are likely to encounter. The work is recommended for libraries with environmental studies collections, as well as for individuals living in or visiting the area.”  —Choice “Part field guide, part travel guide, Steelquist writes with the authoritative voice of that friend you want next to you on the trail or in the dunes—the one who knows just where to go for a weekend getaway and what to pack for the Pacific Northwest’s unpredictable weather.” —Portland Monthly