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Nature Coastal Regions & Shorelines

The Living Beach

Life, Death and Politics where the Land Meets the Sea

by (author) Silver Donald Cameron

Red Deer Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2014
Coastal Regions & Shorelines
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2014
    List Price

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How do beaches function? Where do the waves come from, and why are they always parallel to the shore, no matter which way the shore faces? Where does sand come from, and why are some beaches grey, some white, some beige? What plants and animals live there, and how do they deal with this harsh, plastic environment?
And what do beaches mean to humans? Arrivals and departures, invasions and migrations, the first contact between the explorers and the indigenous peoples -- they all take place in that sandy zone where the sea meets the land. When a film actor walks alone on a beach, the viewer knows s/he is contemplating change or reacting to it. On the summer sands, bishops and judges and executives become children again, building structures which they know the sea will destroy.
Silver Donald Cameron uses a study of the elements of the beach to build a case for the beach as an integrated, living entity in its own right, and a model for the unity of all things on Earth. More than a tour of the eastern and western shores of North America, Cameron's book leads his readers to an awakening of the processes of life around us. The author begins with the science of waves and sand, and gradu�ally reveals the inter-relatedness of all the habitues of the beach. The final destination is an understanding of how all living things are woven together in the fabric of life and what that means for "the stew�ards of the Earth". He lives in Halifax.

About the author

An award-winning writer of novels, short stories, drama, radio documentaries and more than 500 articles, including such essential books as The Education of Everett Richardson in 1977, Wind, Whales and Whisky: A Cape Breton Voyage in 1991, The Living Beach in 1998, and Warrior Lawyers: From Manila to Manhattan, Attorneys for the Earth in 2016, Silver Donald Cameron is the participating host of —over one hundred educational podcasts of extended video, audio and text interviews with environmental leaders from around the world.

Silver Donald Cameron's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"It touches down on various troubled beaches worldwide. Along the way we get some great yarns and a fund of facts to turn over in our minds like polished stones. We're taken on a brisk tour of beach flora and fauna, and divert�ed with bits of beach miscellanea such as sand castles, Spanish horses, and shell-collectors. We learn about 100-foot waves and 400-foot tsunamis, gain a new beach vocabulary: pocket, baymouth, barachois and tombolos. We meet a cast of beach scientists, like the poetry-quoting Willard Bascom and the combative Orrin Pilkey." —Quill & Quire

Other titles by Silver Donald Cameron